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Blackbird and Wolf: Poems

af Henri Cole

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653404,499 (4.18)Ingen
I don't want words to sever me from reality. I don't want to need them. I want nothing to reveal feeling but feeling--as in freedom, or the knowledge of peace in a realm beyond, or the sound of water poured in a bowl. --from "Gravity and Center" In his sixth collection of verse, Henri Cole deepens his excavations and examinations of autobiography and memory. These poems--often hovering within the realm of the sonnet--combine a delight in the senses with the rueful, the elegiac, the harrowing. Central here is the human need for love, the highest function of our species. Whether writing about solitude or unsanctioned desire, animals or flowers, the dissolution of his mother's body or war, Cole maintains a style that is neither confessional nor abstract, and he is always opposing disappointment and difficult truths with innocence and wonder.… (mere)
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Given to me by a friend from work as part of a book-themed Secret Santa exchange.

It's been a long time since I've read a book of poetry. I've read the occasional poem here and there, from time to time, but there's a certain enjoyment to simply having the time to dedicate (part of) a morning to slowly going through the book, poem by poem, and thinking about each one.

Most of Cole's poems are short, one-page (14-16 line) thoughts. In general, I liked his few longer poems better than the short ones – though I don't know if I can put my finger on precisely why, as the length itself doesn't have anything to do with it, I think.

My favorite poem, on a first read through, is "The Erasers." My favorite set of lines, however, is from "Persimmon Tree":

Poor Man, kind and apprehensive
he looks at himself but cannot see
the beauty of his free will unless
he's suffering at the hands of it.


My favorite line is from "Twilight": "I want to learn the faith of the indifferent." ( )
  octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
A mournful and celebratory collection of poems, with some echoes of Dickinson. ( )
  dasam | Jun 21, 2018 |
One of my favorite books of poetry, which is remarkable because I usually dislike autobiographically-oriented poetry by men. My favorite poem from this collection is "Self-Portrait with Red Eyes," which includes the line "the hand erasing writes the real thing."
  Oh_Carolyn | Jul 18, 2013 |
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I don't want words to sever me from reality. I don't want to need them. I want nothing to reveal feeling but feeling--as in freedom, or the knowledge of peace in a realm beyond, or the sound of water poured in a bowl. --from "Gravity and Center" In his sixth collection of verse, Henri Cole deepens his excavations and examinations of autobiography and memory. These poems--often hovering within the realm of the sonnet--combine a delight in the senses with the rueful, the elegiac, the harrowing. Central here is the human need for love, the highest function of our species. Whether writing about solitude or unsanctioned desire, animals or flowers, the dissolution of his mother's body or war, Cole maintains a style that is neither confessional nor abstract, and he is always opposing disappointment and difficult truths with innocence and wonder.

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