Natural Causes: Poems

Overview

Death haunts the pages of Natural Causes, but so does compassion and love. There is little darkness here, and less despair, despite the abundance of cemeteries, loss, and ghosts—both real and imagined.

Mark Cox’s youthful bravado has given way in these poems to an assured sense of understatement. The weight of fatherhood, the loss of a grandmother, the fear of loneliness—these are the details around which Cox plumbs the depths of mortality and ...

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Overview

Death haunts the pages of Natural Causes, but so does compassion and love. There is little darkness here, and less despair, despite the abundance of cemeteries, loss, and ghosts—both real and imagined.

Mark Cox’s youthful bravado has given way in these poems to an assured sense of understatement. The weight of fatherhood, the loss of a grandmother, the fear of loneliness—these are the details around which Cox plumbs the depths of mortality and memory.

Fully comfortable with the domestic tableau from which he writes, this is a poet never complacent. The penchants for metaphor and the resonant turn of phrase that informed Cox’s earlier work remain as vibrant as ever, indeed are heightened, as he masterfully affirms and celebrates the range of familial complexity and human connectedness.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This collection teems with rich images and rings with a vibrant voice.”
—Charlotte Observer

“Vivid memory intertwines with a rigorously envisioned present and future.  Cox has touched on these matters in earlier books, but not so consistently or wish such uncanny thematic force.  He speaks across a huge range or subject and feeling, from layered fury to astringent violence to lamentation, from guarded hopefullness to affirmations at once quiet and stirring.  It is, altogether, an astonishing and moving tour de force.”
—Tar River Poetry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822958390
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 4/4/2004
  • Series: Pitt Poetry Series
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Cox, professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, has received many prominent honors and awards. He is the author of three previous books of poetry, including Thirty-Seven Years from the Stone.

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Table of Contents

At the Stair 3
Pail of Eggs 4
Treasure 5
Pompeii 7
Odyssey 9
Better Homes and Gardens 10
The Museum of the End of the World 11
Inner Rooms 13
Red Lead, 1978 15
Consolidated Freight 16
Top Pay, Home Every Weekend 18
Joyland 19
Blind Cat at a Window 21
Parakeet 22
At the Crematorium, My Son Asks Why We're All Wearing Black 23
Til Death Do You Part: Second Ceremony 24
Willow Run 26
Eastern Wyoming 31
Western Wyoming 32
Wound 33
Call to Prayer 34
On Your Coast 35
Image 36
Want 37
Well of Tragedy 38
His Green Chair 39
Norway 40
Bread Loaf, 1991 41
Pissing Off Robert Frost's Porch 42
After Reading Tu Fu, 43
Whittling 44
57th Street 45
Second Skin 46
The Sublime 49
Finish This 51
Dark Black 53
This Bucket Has a Hole in It 55
After the Sea Parts, My Daughter Walks among Gravestones 57
Fatherhood 58
Sill 60
The Lion's Share 62
Natural Causes 63
On the Way to See You 64
Rest Darling Sister Rest 66
The White Doves of Topeka 68
After Rain 69
Ashes, Ashes 70
Acknowledgments 71
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