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by Henri Cole
Henri Cole's last three books have shown a continuously mounting talent. In his new book, Touch, written with an almost invisible but ever-present art, he continues to render his human topics—a mother's death, a lover's addiction, war—with a startling clarity. Cole's new poems are impelled by a dark knowledge of the body—both its pleasures and its discontents—and they are ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
(first published September 13th 2011)
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Dealing with the death of his mother, the memory of his alcoholic father, and a destructive relationship with an addict as Cole mourns, this collection is surprisingly very low-key. Perhaps it is the way he turns to the animal world to help understand the very primal emotions he is dealing with as well as his deft use of a sonnet variant in many poems that gives the poems a quiet dignity. There is one very unfortunate poem that alternates lines from a teenage torture victim of state violence wit ...more
Henri Cole's poem is filled with discrete and slightly surreal poems whose craft--and even whose quirk--display an undercurrent of intense pain. The poems revolve largely around dealing the death of his mother, processing the memory of his alcoholic father, and healing from a destructive relationship with an addict. The collection though, despite the pain and surreal touches, remains largely subdued and most of the emotional heft is in the undercurrent rather than the current of poems. Cole has ...more
Overall not bad excepting the trainwreck that is "By the name of God..." but many of them a little too cutesy for my taste. Nothing terribly stirring here though: "pleasant" is maybe the best qualifier, with its damned-with-faint-praise-connotations maybe halfway in place.
Sep 14, 2016 Charity rated it it was ok · review of another edition
Really confusing. I couldn't tell when or how some people in the book were dying or if they actually were. (See confusing) and the sentence structure was all over the place-and not in a good way.