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The Rise and Fall of the Mind
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
I feel leafy,
part of a tree
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.
it takes time
to notice I'm
For only in the present
does I not exist.
Everywhere I look
I see my shattered nature
reflected in the panes
I see right through them all.
But some waves come in, swirl and defy the rules. In `Dad's Birthday Party' I was caught by surprise at how innocence can defy censure. And then, was it I who added a touch of sarcasm in retrospect, looking back with innocence lost?
Dad's birthday party
I remember my Mom
telling me that Dad was brilliant,
I was proud of Dad, in that moment,
It didn't matter anymore that he was late
for his own birthday party.
The cake was ready, with "33" spelled out
in unlit candles.
I was ready, and Mom had the matches
Dad was always late, but now
I understood the reason why.
He was a brilliant guy,
and didn't need birthday cake,
in order to accomplish his mission.
In `The Walk' we are amused by Cook's observations of a woman changing her rules for intimacy as they walk around a town filled with neighbors and friends who just might be watching. In `Finality' we catch the anger at one who accepts no help "falling into fossil form,/ horizons narrowing,/ reality a threat,/ drowning in the quicksand / of your own myths,/ oblivious to all our outstretched hands.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These poems create a landscape of mystery and wonder, taking the reader to unexplored places. Some send an introspective melancholy through the body, bringing one to their inner... Read morePublished on August 27, 2009 by Helen Hathaway Eanes
The Rise and Fall of the Mind This wonderful array of poetry celebrates the fascination of living life: its humor, frustration, confusion, wonder and faith. Read morePublished on December 1, 2008 by George Small
"The Rise And Fall of Mind" is a 104-page collection of superbly written and highly recommended poetry by Michael Cook where each poem ranges in length fro six words to one and a... Read morePublished on January 4, 2007 by Midwest Book Review