Throughout her poetry, Noel Crook draws on myth and memory to reveal a hopeless yet beautiful world. Her lyrics cover sacrifice and betrayal, parental love and patricide, unleashed desire and cornered despair. These antitheses fuel Crook’s imagination, which ranges freely from Comanche raids in Texas to a slave plantation in North Carolina, from a carpet maker in Istanbul to beggars in Delhi, from her daughter’s hospital room to the war in Iraq. Her poetry is potent and arouses the senses. For example, “House” (about the 200-year-old farmhouse where she and her husband live) begins like this:
Swaybacked, molting, mildew-blackened
between fallow tobacco fields,
its sprung shutters sagging
Crook divides her time between Raleigh and Kittrell and is a member of Wake EMC. Published by Southern Illinois University Press. Softcover, 80 pages, $12.35; e-book is $10.49.
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