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When Poetry Gets Under the Skin

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Civitella Ranieri Foundation

Henri Cole

In this podcast, Henri Cole reads from his recent book of poems, Touch (2011), and talks about his search for what he calls the “essentialness of emotion.”

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Sasha Weiss: You liken the self to a needle pushing in a vein.

Henri Cole: We live in a time where, in the last decade or two, there was a drift away from the essentialness of emotion, because of the fashions of poetry … and so I wanted my book to sort of focus on the essentialness of piercing the skin—poems should have fear, wonder, grief, desperation, triumph, some element of these emotions in them.

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