"Shapes of Clay" is considered by some to be the major collection of Bierce's later poetry. As in previous volumes, many of the poems collected had been previously published in newspapers and magazines and were subsequently reprinted in this version with alterations. As in all Bierce's work, his poetry is witty, caustic and ironic. Some of the poems included are: "Novum Organum" "In Bacon see the culminating prime, / Of Anglo-Saxon intellect and crime; " "For a Certain Critic" "Let lowly themes engage my humble pen -- Stupidities of critics, not of men; " and "Consolation" "Little's the good to sit and grieve, / Because the serpent tempted Eve. / Better to wipe your eyes and take a club and go out and kill a snake."