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The Rise and Fall of the Mind Paperback – June 29, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (June 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1425933009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1425933005
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 4.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,786,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Cook grew up in New York City. He attended Northwestern University where he studied theatre and film. After a brief stint movie-making in Hollywood he came back to New York, and turned to the study of mathematics. After receiving his doctorate, he studied philosophy and theology for a year at seminary before going to Rockefeller University to do post-doctoral research. He has co-authored four musicals, two of which have been produced: Le Shotgun Marriage (in summer stock) and The Lysistrata Affair (in an Equity Showcase). He works on Wall Street in New York City, where he lives with his wife and best friend, Melissa.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan Baronoff on September 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book of clever, well-crafted poems includes many which are genuinely affecting, and some that are delicious. These meditations on human consciousness - which most of the poems are - reveal a joyful appreciation for the architecture of thought, and the quest to find a similar blueprint for the heart.

Infinity in the human mind

Why do we find it there?

The emptiness in the human heart

is just too much to bear.

The ideas revealed in these poems are often vaulting and elegant. The feelings, on the other hand, reach up to those ideas as if they were trying to hitch a ride. There's longing and hope in those upward-reaching feelings, and it is these that make this book sweet and touching and achingly human.

I fascinate myself with clouds,

rocks, streams, oceans, stars...

I hear the music of the spheres...

and hum a few bars.

In poems of doubt and faith and joy and despondency, poems of seeking and poems of finding, Rise and Fall of the Mind traverses the path of aspiration. It's witty and well-written, full of ideas and unexpected delights.

It takes time

To notice I'm.

writes the poet. Take the time -- it's worth it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rachel A. Dacus on September 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
When I first opened this poetry collection, I was struck by its pithiness and diversity of forms - everything from haiku to villanelle goes into the mix of this charming verse. The poems have deceptively lively surfaces hiding intriguing concepts. As if to disarm the reader, the collection opens with a series of haiku, but haiku with an existential twist, as in "Ode to the Universe, Part 1":

I feel leafy,

part of a tree

whose trunk

I cannot see.

By the time I reached the poem "I Wake Up Insane," an ode to the constant tap dance of mind and heart, I realized I had been swimming in deep waters. In that poem Cook elegantly recreates the "ands" and "ors" of logic, the little mental tricks that get us through the day, masks put on over a deep longing. It's a witty piece of commentary, as are many poems in this book. Cook opts with graceful economy for the voice of the heart, whether in pithy laments like "Out of Control" or in unabashedly mystical poems like the luminous "I Am One." These are poems whose trick is to appear as light verse, when in fact, they're really Light verse. It's a book to buy for yourself and give to others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lyda Phillips on September 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Michael Cook's first volume of verse is sheer delight--witty, epigramatic, insightful, funny, touching. These are the captured thoughts of a profound thinker with a light touch--always hopeful, always awed and entranced by the universe and our own human place in it. Read these poems for inspiration. Read them to change your mind. Read them to wake up.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Shulman on September 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book of poems is pure pleasure. If you like to think, smile, enjoy and delight, this small book of poetry provides pleasure and depth on every page.

I enjoy rhyme and rhythm, and this book has both. In addition, It is written with brilliance. Many poems have enjoyable superficial content... and then a deeper layer that encourages continuing contemplation of the author's theme.

I personally learned about Villanelle's. The poems written in this form echo in my mind. I see myself in many of these poems written in this and many other forms, and I smile. I highly recommend this to anyone who has ever enjoyed poetry.
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