Henri Cole

The Look of Things
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"In his first two volumes, The Marble Queen and The Zoo Wheel of Knowledge, virtuosity seemed pushed to its extremes;  here he has relaxed and as a consequence, he produces lines of natural and nonchalant brio... He is at home with simple statements as well as with labyrinthine periodic sentences; he can understate, can step back with courtly distance from the scene he is describing; in stanzas as shapely as topiary he can salute a visual world he honestly loves; he can write about the soul stumbling against quotidian impediments.  And he can approach a variety of subjects, from first love to cabbage butterflies, from a wedding announcement in the Times to a family shocked at a son's homosexuality. . .  Commanding a full range of idioms, he assembles poems of a sculptural fineness.  Most often, they achieve beauty by sounding a note of severe, unsentimental forlornness."     
--
Wayne Koestenbaum,
The New Yorker 

Photos courtesy of Susan Unterberg (unless otherwise noted).