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.