Michael Mott Michael G. Cooke - Essay

Michael G. Cooke

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Absence of Unicorns, Presence of Lions takes as its epigraph the proposition of The Sefer Yetshirah that "through [LETTERS]" God "produced the whole creation and everything that is destined to be created," and the volume deals heavily in Letters and Myths and Namings even where, as in "Gaines Mill," the subject matter would seem more immediate and, so to speak, unlettered…. If his "lore" is to be more than masonic or, more accurately, cabalistic, what does Mott do to renew, confirm, extend his material, to justify our reading him as well as his source?

When he is working on it, in a poem like "Myths I," little or nothing leaps to view. At best he provokes the reader to recall...

(The entire section is 600 words.)