The New Republic
Cole is the child of William Blake and Elizabeth Bishop... 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. Cole is now such a master of his means,
and at the same time so modest and vulnerable in his recording...He brilliantly channels Marvell, Dickinson, and Stevens,
and sounds perfectly like himself--the fictive self, the voice that holds its own amid squalor. -- from "Making a Soul," Rosanna Warren