Middle Earth is Henri Cole's
epiphany, his Whitmanesque sunrise. The modulation of these poems is extraordinary: they have a continuous undersong.
"It must give pleasure," Stevens said. So oxymoronic is pleasure-pain, in Henri Cole, that we need to modify
Stevens. But for now, poems like "Icarus Breathing," "Original Face," and "Olympia" are
the poems of our climate. Henri Cole has become a master poet, with few peers.