Many of our younger poets are turning away from the hyperconscious self-absorption that marks contemporary poetry and are instead centering their work on the broader social, political, and emotional issues of the world. They are producing work that is clear-voiced, richly descriptive, and accessible.
Susan Tichy's ''The Hands in Exile'' is a fine example of such writing. Ms. Tichy, living on an Israeli kibbutz in the war-shocked Mideast, gives us a landscape that presents two inseparable faces - one, starkly beautiful and mysterious; the other, ripe with the potential for sudden violence. The poems not only reveal a woman's personal explorations; they provide human proportions for an area we measure mainly through headlines.
This is Ms. Tichy's first collection; some of the work is self-consciously artful, but there are many fine poems to be found here, along with the signs of an impressive new talent.