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Touch: Poems

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  7 reviews
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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Kevin Lawrence
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

Gazing into the bar mirror,
my brow and jaw less pronounced than my father's,
weary at the neck, I want to be real, to think, to live.
I want to press my face up to the glass and climb out.

--- "Bloodstains"
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.
R.G. Evans
Poems by a master of image and knock-out closing lines, rendering the personal and specific chillingly universal. Everyone mortal should read this book.
amy boese
Some poems really resonated, some seemed less personally exact, but all were a joy to run through my mind and read aloud. I really enjoyed this small potent book.
Christina Borgoyn
There is great depth to this little collection of poems by Henri Cole.
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Aug 11, 2015
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