Despite the high achievements of his work, and the unquestioning respect accorded to it by his contemporaries, it can be argued that Lehmann has been a neglected figure, not least in regard to the familiar measure of literary prizes.
Poems 1957–2013 is an unusual collection, in that it is not, as at first appears, a standard 'Collected Works' of the author; it is instead a complete reshaping of Lehmann's lifetime of poetry.
Many of the earlier poems have been so substantially re-written as to amount to new poems, while entirely new poems have been added to sequences such as the 'Simple Sonnets' and 'Spring Forest'. At the end of the book are enough new poems to constitute a new collection, while the last of all the poems, 'Why I Write Poetry', is not only one of the very best but a fitting summary of all that has gone before it.
The great strengths of Lehmann's work are his narrative talent and the classical austerity of his style.