Cathedral of Wish by Cammy Thomas is a difficult, possibly belated, certainly hard- earned, collection. A first book is nearly always autobiographical and personal, and this one is so burningly. These "gasps," for such they are, at the extremes of family brutality and shame, where only the italicized parental speeches are punctuated, reveal a painful story that is all too familiar, without self-pity, charting a male power and abuse so starkly as to be almost a political diagnosis. Infidelity is the crux of Shakespeare's sonnets and the central experience sublimated by Yeats: here the ambivalence is "anguish dimmed but with it, rapture." Other fine and noteworthy near-winners had more verbal ingenuity, more varied thematic density, yet none had quite this sustained and tragic unrelievedness, where what is not said is even more haunting than what is. If poetry has more to do with emotion than intellectuality, then this volume serves in that category.