Who is Hugh Cook?
His poetry introduced: His aesthetic explained
Hugh Cook is a writer born in Britain and educated in New Zealand. He has published poems, novels and short stories. He has taught English in Japan for seven years and has a Japanese wife and one child, a daughter.
Regarding poetry, Hugh says:-
"My approach varies with the poem. Sometimes I'm aiming for lyric intensity, pushing against the boundaries of the visionary. At other times, my aim may be to grapple as directly as possible with reality, with the precise grittiness of the immediate moment of the living now.
"There are also occasions on which I feel moved to exploit the sportive possibilities of language, exploring the potentials of linguistic extravagance for its own sake and pushing into the realms of rule-opposed dada poetry.
"For me as a poet a major attraction of poetic form is its flexibility, its ability to embrace an endlessly diverse range of themes and situations. My ambition is toe expand the range of subject matter that I deal with rather than to limit it.
In summary, then, my poetic ambition is to expand beyond the limits of what I have already done, without being constrained by artificial limits on what might constitute either appropriate subject matter or lawful technique.
My ideal is freshness of vision: my own unique vision seen through my own unique lens. And vision may be beautiful or brutal, vulgar or sublime.
Selectivity? I reject selectivity. Anything from the trash can or the art gallery is grist to my mill. I don't want to be restricted to a few bland monochrome flakes of reality. Rather, I want the whole whirling rainbow of options: the unfettered expanse of the whole lawless kaleidoscope."
To Introduce the Poet's Work:
"Sex Metal" - a serious war poem, rather angry.
"Breastfeeding" - a poem of human experience written out of having a new baby in the house.
"Out Fishing" - a very simple, direct poem aimed at communicating directly with experience.
"The Death of Achilles" - a poem of the Trojan War, aiming, successfully or otherwise, to push toward the boundaries of the visionary.
"Cryptic" - an exploratory piece experimenting with images, aiming to exploit juxtapositions which breach the boundaries of conventional reality without becoming incoherent. The intellect at play.
All materials on this website can be read for free online. However, note that the website contents are copyright © 1973-2006 Hugh Cook - all rights reserved. For permission to use any of the material on this website contact Hugh Cook.