Cole, Henri. MIDDLE EARTH: POEMS. New York City, NY: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2003. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 60 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's fifth collection of poems. One of Henri Cole's finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. Publisher's removable "Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award" round gold sticker pasted (NOT printed) in front of the First-State DJ. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Henri Cole's "Middle Earth: Poems". Melancholy and ecstatic poems on desire. The Japanese "Zo-onna" mask shown on the DJ Cover alludes to the poet's intimate connection to Japan. He was born there, has written about his Japanese-inspired rituals and ways in his poetry, and wrote the poems in this particular collection while living in Kyoto on a "US-Japan Friendship" fellowship. "Written in an open style that is both erotic and visionary. Thrillingly portrays the physical world, man's creaturely self, the cyclical strain of desire and self-reproach" (Boston Review). "The fullest culmination to date of an original voice and a central poet of his generation" (Harold Bloom). "I don't have the time to invest in what / I purport to desire" (Henri Cole). An absolute "must-have" title for Henri Cole collectors. This copy is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed, dated, and inscribed in black ink-pen on the front free endpaper (his dedication) and title page (his signature) by the author: "April 16, 2004 To John and Billie, friends to poetry, With gratitude, Henri Cole". It is signed directly on the pages themselves, not on a tipped-in page. Henri Cole's signature is clean, flowing, and elegant. The recipient-couple, who are named, are unmistakably close to the author. This title is a great book. As far as we know, this is the only such signed, dated, and inscribed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Please note: Henri Cole does NOT do public signings. Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare signed copy thus. Winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award in 2004 for "Middle Earth: Poems". Regarded by Harold Bloom as a canonical American poet. One of the most brilliant poets of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER HENRI COLE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0374208816. $100.00

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