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Middle Earth: Poems

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  155 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Time was plunging forward,
like dolphins scissoring open water or like me,
following Jenny's flippers down to see the coral reef,
where the color of sand, sea and sky merged,
and it was as if that was all God wanted:
not a wife, a house or a position,
but a self, like a needle, pushing in a vein.
-from "Olympia"

In his fifth collection of verse, Henri Cole's melodious lines are wr
Paperback, 80 pages
Published April 14th 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2003)
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15th out of 107 books — 20 voters
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82nd out of 130 books — 68 voters

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Community Reviews

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Robert Beveridge
Jan 22, 2008 Robert Beveridge rated it it was ok
Shelves: finished, cle-pub-lib
Henri Cole, Middle Earth (FSG, 2003)

First off, let's get this out of the way: this book has no ties whatever to Tolkein.

That said, it was the first proof I've ever had of an urban legend I've been hunting down for years. Skim through the Poet's Market sometims and look at the descriptions of the things magazine editors don't want. Most of them come down to one basic description said in a thousand ways: "pointless academic tripe." A few have, in the past, named names, but the names most often nam
Mary Rakow
Mar 06, 2013 Mary Rakow rated it it was amazing
I have come back to this beautiful volume once again, and it is always startling and fresh. Such a great way to remember the qualities in good poems that I want to remember as I write prose."Cleaning the Elephant" is one of my favorites.
Henry Dykstal
May 23, 2016 Henry Dykstal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: since-joining
Really liked this, if only because it seems like Cole and I are interested in many of the same things a lot of of the time in terms of imagery, which is very nice because I feel very alone in regards to that a lot of the time, but Cole has a taste for things outside the traditional Eurocentric subject of poems, which I really, really love. Too bad he's so explanatory about everything. He's too afraid to be oblique at times. but he's still really, really good and you should read this.
Jan 17, 2015 Mia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Who were you / that even now all of me is in tatters, / aching to touch your face floating in a dream, / defining itself, like a large white / flower, by separation from me?"

"I cannot tell who absorbs the other more; / I am free but you are not, / if freedom means traveling long distances to avoid boredom."
Dec 31, 2007 Teresa rated it liked it
I have never read Henri Cole before I saw his poem in this week's New Yorker so I sought out a book. He has some amazing lines, lines I envy but I also find myself wanting a little bit more from him---granted I read the Gluck chapbook first so I may be tainted.
Apr 11, 2009 Heather marked it as to-read
A christmas/birthday/special occasion gift from the Varg. Beautiful, exotic, and so much more. Thanks Varg.
Maughn Gregory
Dec 30, 2011 Maughn Gregory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, lgbt
Add Henri Cole to my list of poets to collect and follow.
Jul 27, 2007 Jenni rated it really liked it
Shelves: poets
Very good.
Feb 22, 2007 Adam added it
his best
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