Review of Edith Sitwell’s The Shadow of Cain, by Mary Devenport O’Neill

EDITH SITWELL is a most individual poet. She views the world from her own special angle and it is no longer the old well-known, everyday world that other people see, but a new place full of magic. A street, a field or a garden seen by her has become new and strange. Houses walk, grasses hiss, flowers yawn and figs on trees turn into purses filled with gold.

Once in a poem she symbolized all progress as a piano played casually by a monkey, or a sunlit avenue barred with shadow—white notes, black notes, white bars, black bars, progress, retrogression.

In this present poem she has taken for her subject the evil influence of gold in the world. But subject does not matter except in so far as it allows Miss Sitwell, who is essentially a poet, to extract poetry from it.