This book is a study of Modernism, a phenomenon which the author regards as "the principal tidal movement of poetry in English in the twentieth century" and is embodied in the work of Pound and Eliot. In the analysis he confronts such basic questions as what it means to say that Yeats was a modern poet in his time, but not a Modernist, while on the other hand, Pound and Eliot were Modernists. This in turn provides a framework for the discussion of poets like Auden and Hardy. A look at Donald Davie, both as poet and critic, illustrates what is a fairly typical example of post-war wavering between acceptance and rejection of the theory and practice of Modernism in poetry. The author wrote "The New Poetic" and a novel "All Visitors Ashore".