Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blackbird and Wolf: Poems” as Want to Read:
Blackbird and Wolf: Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Blackbird and Wolf: Poems

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  102 ratings  ·  10 reviews
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 poetry, Henri Cole deepens his excavations of autobiography and memory. "I don't want words to sever me from
Hardcover, 59 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blackbird and Wolf, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Blackbird and Wolf

The Complete Poems by Emily DickinsonLeaves of Grass by Walt WhitmanShakespeare's Sonnets by William ShakespeareThe Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. EliotAriel by Sylvia Plath
Best Poetry Books
423rd out of 1,451 books — 1,583 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 187)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Emily Crow
The metaphors and images in these poems seemed kind of weird to me. There was a continuous contrast between the physicality of human existence, a yearning for the purity of the abstract, and an appeal to nature to mediate the two. Which nature cannot do, so the poet is always left dissatisfied. But I felt that he sees nature as an urbanite would, not as it truly is, so the metaphors seemed forced and cumbersome. It's not that these poems were bad so much as that the poet and I obviously perceive ...more
"I can bear to think of Heaven and Hell,
where there is no tennis or jam;
but I can't bear to think of the trough in my mattress
filled up by another."
- The Erasers (excerpt)

"Once, in a light-bathed kitchen,
naked and blissfully myself, ..."
- Bowl of Lilacs (excerpt)

"Throughout our affair of eleven years,
disappearing into the pleasure-unto-death
acts I recall now as love and, afterward,
orbiting through the long, deep sleeps
in which memory, motor of everything,
reconstituted itself, I cared nothing a
“Once, I lived through a bombing

and watched the wild and ghastly light

go out of a soldier’s face.

His skin was white as snow on the mountains.

Death is nothing compared to the pain

that comes before.”

from “Persimmon Tree”


“Still, the earth forms, stems flourish,

and the time of my life goes on.”

from “Dune”


“(…) tawny bees murmuring

over them on their way home to sleep and safety,

remaking them when nature beats them apart,

putting their whole lives into the small sting

that hurts us, but not before chan
Emily Patterson-Blight
This is a collection of jewel-like poems spun close to nature, visceral in their animal longing. Blackbird and Wolf winds biological and emotional inwardness into art, with stark honesty--its landscapes being as vivid as the pain of illusory freedom, of loss. "Dune" is stunning.
Nov 21, 2008 Tim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: re-read
I preferred Middle Earth to this. Nonetheless, Henri Cole's style remains pristine and clear––perhaps even more so than in Middle Earth. Certainly he deserves the prize he just won!
Rich in skill, while at the same time raw and primal, the poems are beautiful, harrowing, enlivening.
straight poetry here, mildly evolutionary, lots of love and oddness, a book that wins hero status
J. C.
I'm not really much of a poetry person, but some of the poems were truly wonderful.
David  Sam
A mournful and celebratory collection of poems, with some echoes of Dickinson.
Kirsten Kinnell
A good deal more lyrical than I'm accustomed to these days. Still, lovely.
Jul 27, 2007 Jenni rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poets
Jillian easton
Jillian easton marked it as to-read
Dec 05, 2014
i! marked it as to-read
Dec 03, 2014
levi young ringener
levi young ringener marked it as to-read
Nov 30, 2014
Stephanie Roberts
Stephanie Roberts marked it as to-read
Nov 03, 2014
Luke is currently reading it
Oct 07, 2014
William marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2014
Djanika marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2014
Michael marked it as to-read
May 22, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Middle Earth: Poems Touch: Poems The Visible Man: Poems Pierce the Skin: Selected Poems, 1982-2007 The Voice of the Poet : Anne Sexton

Share This Book

“I’m sorry I cannot say I love you when you say
you love me. The words, like moist fingers,
appear before me full of promise but then run away
to a narrow black room that is always dark,
where they are silent, elegant, like antique gold,
devouring the thing I feel. I want the force
of attraction to crush the force of repulsion
and my inner and outer worlds to pierce
one another, like a horse whipped by a man.
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 into a bowl.”
More quotes…