It is not always safe, when contemporary poetry is to be examined, to make too much of that elusive creature the Spirit of the Age. It is a ghost that is too conveniently Protean. One is apt to find it wherever one finds in modern poetry something which is peculiarly likeable; and if it does not immediately appear, there is some temptation to look for it until it does appear. That is one danger; and there is another, complementary to it. For we may be induced to tolerate indifferent work simply because it has somehow captured what seems to be the Spirit of the Age. It is like going to a dull place and fmding an old friend there; we do not notice the dulness surrounding our agreeable conversations. What period is there which has not praised poetry merely for some presence there of its own familiar spirit? And yet, after all, poetry is under no obligation to provide this particular kind of entertainment; it may be as clearly the duty of poetry to reject the Spirit of the Age at one time as to accept it at another. And when ought it to be accepted? There is only one possible answer. Poetry is concerned with the Spirit of the Age only as something out of which poetry can be made; only when it is good for poetry need it be accepted. On the whole, then, we should be careful how we slight poetry for not being sufficiently 'modern'; and, conversely, that we do not praise mere modernity, but only modernity when it appears as poetry.