Light Through a Pane of Glass snatches at the ephemeral and hauls it to the ground. This is a book of road trips and shadows, and we’re invited on the ride. Behind it all is a father, seen by a child who presses his forehead against the glass, waiting for a Dad who walks among shadows, whispers and silence. Thomas Cook’s poetry yearns for hope and reconciliation, with a voice that both surprises and delights. Through these beautifully wrought poems, we can find ourselves.
~ Marcos McPeek-Villatoro, author of On Tuesday, When the Homeless Disappeared
Thomas Cook is a fresh voice in American poetry and proves Pablo Neruda's claim that "Poetry is power." His poems rise through our experiences and resonate in all of us as his words transform the reader into a poetic dimension of thought, movement, and surprises.
~ Ray Gonzalez, author of Beautiful Wall
Light Through a Pane of Glass
I have time, the voice of Light through a Pane of Glass attempts to reassure itself, I have time. By which that voice acknowledges, watching garden hose water carry off leaves from the dirt, that time sweeps us and everything away. This is a book that drinks from deep wells of mystery: sons and fathers, transience and repetition, the permanence and contingency of land. Its "living walls," its haunted architectures, span a vast West of memory and experience. The poems in this book, sometimes wise, sometimes pained, always starkly beautiful, heap themselves up in answer to the question they pose: how to “survive in the void where we remain.”
~ Noah Warren, author of The Destroyer in the Glass, Winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize
While the mind might be a place of painful confinement, it is also a place of expansive striving. That’s what these poems know. For any reader interested in an honesty raw and reaching, Light Through a Pane of Glass will companion and astound you. “On the road to reconciliation,” Thomas Cook writes, “my notebook has grown thick with hope.” Here is that notebook, right in your hands, an artistry of hope.
~ Katie Ford, author of If You Have to Go
In its repeated plea, the beautiful Light Through a Pane of Glass honors all we can’t ever really know, but what we can sense and sense all along: that “there’s dark water in the middle of the lake, deeper / than I think.” Cook’s poems trouble over and tend, with such care, to “these things untethering from one another.” Here, memory calls us back to the present, to the highway, to the fields, to distance, to intimacy and love—“beyond the rain, / the sound of my wife”—and all those proximities somehow the domain of alchemy, mysterious and impossible, never and always ours. “If I could, I would transmit entirety,” the speaker admits, and yet these poems convey exactly that.
~ Monica Berlin, author of Nostalgia for a World Where We Can Live