Natural Causes: Poems
by Mark Cox
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004
eISBN: 978-0-8229-7990-6 | Paper: 978-0-8229-5839-0
Library of Congress Classification PS3553.O93N38 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54

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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