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Stanley Cook (1922-1991) was much admired in his lifetime but he never achieved the popular audience and critical reputation his work deserved. Cook went his own way, sanguine about the fashions of the poetry establishment, and quietly writing some of the most readable, intelligent and vividly achieved poems of our time.
‘Stanley Cook was an exemplary, compassionate, unsentimental poet of Yorkshire. His work is solid and warm with a distinctive local and universal humanity. ‘Woods beyond a Cornfield’, the title poem which runs to over 600 lines, is his masterpiece — complicated, emotionally bruising, and, like all his work, robust, questing, darting into beautiful, mysterious images.’ — Douglas Dunn