“Form Photograph is a set of thirty close-ups of ‘the perennial thirteen-year-olds that I have taught’, every one of whom will be recognised by readers of this journal. Stanley Cook, in this assembly at least, has caught in his register a kind of South Yorkshire Spoon River. He writes with compassionate sincerity.” The Use Of English
“No quotation does justice to the wit and humanity of the whole sequence.” The Teacher
“ . . . a very interesting booklet . . . flat, sober, intelligent efforts to concentrate on the differences between one thirteen-year-old bit of humankind and another . . . As Edward Thomas pointed out in first drawing attention to the not dissimilar talents of Robert Frost: this is poetry not because it is clever or exotic or impressive but because it is better than anything prose can do.” Robert Nye / The Times
“Such interest in people is rare in modern poetry.” The Critical Quarterly
Stanley Cook was born in a South Yorkshire village in 1922. He read English at Oxford and, after teaching in schools in Lancashire and Yorkshire, became a lecturer at Huddersfield Polytechnic. He is married, with one son and two daughters. In 1972 he was the winner – from a field of over 1,200 – of the Cheltenham Festival / Sunday Telegraph “Poem For Our Time” (£100) Poetry Prize.
Average: named after a Prime Minister To conceal the fact. Halfway through the lesson Ask him a question and find from his answer What the rest will know. Belongs to the Scouts And Sunday School, but not for much longer; Plays football in the Park but not for the School; Had a fortnight’s holiday but not abroad And went in a car, that belonged to his uncle. His father and mother are probably still in love But were never madly so. He will travel the rivers Of Life and Death without once rocking the boat.