Saturday, June 19, 2010
rosanna warren on henri cole
Pierce the Skin, a selection from Cole’s six earlier books, confirms him as a poet of commanding maturity. It is bracing to watch a writer find the right relationship between the subject matter urgent to him and a style that evolves to meet the needs of that subject. In this dual process of discovery, Cole lets neither raw material nor style—nor stylization—dominate; in poem after poem, the clashing forces fight to a draw, and that draw is the work of art.