Eric Cole | Man and Beast | Gazelle Books

For Irish-born poet and zookeeper Eric Cole the fourteen lines and rhythmic patterns of the sonnet echo the very building blocks of life. Within the basic structure of simple genetic material lies the limitless potential for the existence of all living things, be they man or beast. So, too, within the simple structure of the sonnet, there is a similar universe of untold possibilities. Now, in these robust and stylish poems, the mysteries of the animal kingdom are explored with genuine scientific curiosity and rendered with tenderness, stimulating language, and unmistakable Irish wit. From the reviled Portuguese man o’ war to the glorious hyacinth macaw, from the elusive snow leopard to the bizarre pangolin, and even to the human animal itself, Cole demonstrates how life exists in inexplicable but nonetheless indispensable variety, and this collection serves to remind us what we stand to lose if we fail to appreciate the small states of grace that befall us in the disappearing natural wonders of our world. Continue reading