OVERRIDE

Blackbird and Wolf

Poems

Henri Cole

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Poetry
Winner of the Ambassador Book Award
Winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

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.

 
 
 
Contents
I: BIRTHDAY
Sycamores
Mimosa Sensitiva
Gulls
Oil & Steel
Ambulance
Chenin Blanc
Maple Leaves Forever
Twilight
Migraine
To Sleep
The Erasers
The Tree Cutters
Birthday
Self-portrait with Hornets
 
II: GRAVITY AND CENTER
Gravity and Center
American Kestrel
Loons
Quarry
Homosexuality
Haircut
Toxicology
Poppies
Bowl of Lilacs
Shaving
My Weed
Self-portrait with Red Eyes
Embers
Wet Apples
 
III: DUNE
Beach Walk
Eating the Peach
Dead Wren
To the Forty-third President
Hymn
The Lost Bee
Persimmon Tree
Bees
Mirror
Dune

REVIEWS

Praise for Blackbird and Wolf

"[Cole writes] in a voice that buzzes with emotion . . . His best book to date." --Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Henri Cole

  • Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan, and was raised in Virginia. The recipient of many awards, he is the author, most recently, of Middle Earth (FSG, 2003), a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and The Visible Man (FSG, 1998).
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Blackbird and Wolf

Poems

Henri Cole

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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