The post-Pound, post-Carlos Williams movement in American verse, represented by such poets as Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan and Ed Dorn, has for the most part been received with a deadly critical hush, particularly in England. Apart from the timely special issue of Ian Hamilton's Review in 1964 on Black Mountain Poetry, together with some discreet championing by Eric Mottram and Donald Davie, attention to the New Verse has been largely confined to the off-campus underground scene. The Black Mountaineers are generally thought to be the exclusive province of the Fulcrum Press, Calder and Boyars, the International Times and a tiny circulating broadsheet published from Cambridge called The English Intelligencer. But this critical neglect is, I think, a symptom of a genuine distress in literature departments of universities about the nature of contemporary verse. On the one hand, we have acquired a sophisticated terminology for discussing most of the verbal objects we have learned to call poems: this terminology entails certain assumptions about the working of language itself–that, for instance, the semantic value of an utterance is housed entirely in the words that compose that utterance, that language is a collection of multiply-suggestive symbols, that the operation of language is rational, logical and continuous. On the other hand, we have been recently confronted with a body of verse which either defies, or comes off very badly from, our conventional terminology. Its most striking features have been a metrical, syntactical and logical discontinuity; an insistence that language works, not symbologically, but phenomenologically, as a happening in time and space; that the silence in which a poem occurs has as great a semantic value as the words which are imposed on that silence. Given this battery of opposed assumptions, it is hardly surprising that the case of the New American Poetry offers the unengaging spectacle of criticism and poetics confronting one another with at best a dubious silence, at worst, bared teeth.