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A bold collection of poems of feral beauty and intense vulnerability
Henri Cole's bold collection, Nothing to Declare, contains poems of feral beauty and intense vulnerability. Each poem starts up from its own unique occasion and is then conducted through surprising (sometimes unnerving) and self-steadying domains. The result is a daring, delicate, unguarded, and tender collection. After his last three books--Touch, Blackbird and Wolf, and Middle Earth--in which the sonnet was a thrown shape and not merely a template, Cole's buoyant new poems seem trim and terse, with a forthright, clear-eyed moral gaze. In their sorrowful richness, they combine a susceptibility to sensuousness and an awareness of desolation. Cole transforms the pain of experience into the keen pleasure of expressive language, with his precise reliability of detail, a supple wealth of sound, and a speculative truthfulness. Nothing to Declare is a rare work that is light in touch but with just enough weight to mark the soul.