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The supreme test of a book is that we should feel some unusual intelligence working behind the words. I find White’s unusual intelligence acute rather than powerful, with a brilliant inventiveness rather than profundity. This is a distinction drawn by the literary critic George Saintsbury in describing the poetry of Alexander Pope. Roger White possessed this acute intelligence; at least there is a coterie of readers who sense that intelligence when they read the several books of his poetry. It is not my desire to make White into a poet of some inevitable and complex profundity, but for me there is certainly a delightful and wondrous intelligence that I sense behind his poetry. White’s is a poetry which, in the words of Lionel Trilling, “goes on existing beyond our powers of explanation.” “The aesthetic effect,” Trilling goes on, “depends in large degree upon intellectual power.” Part of our pleasure with White, too, is that we are not under any illusion that White has conquered the material he directs his attention toward. Like the great writers of this century White raises many questions about the social and political landscape of ideas in our liberal and democratic West. Like other great writers White, too, simply wanted to get something off his chest. In so doing he orders what for most of us is only partly ordered, insufficiently ordered or disordered in our minds. He creates a self-contained cosmos with its own centre of gravity. I think each of us might define that centre of gravity a little differently. For me it is that mystic centre at the heart of the religion both White and I share in common.