Fireflies by Frank Ormsby
Oxford Poets (ebook), 2009
I borrowed this ebook from my library and read it on my Kobo.
Frank Ormsby’s new collection travels among places strange and familiar: from the shaping memories of an upbringing in rural County Fermanagh, to a Belfast reinventing itself in a new century and the exhilarating novelty of America. In the first part of Fireflies Ormsby explores the past and vibrant present of an area of New York State which he has visited for the past twelve years. It remains to him as elusive as the ‘fugitive selves’ of the fireflies of the title. The latter part of the book engages with the poet’s experience of his native Northern Ireland – the sour legacy of the Troubles, the dynamics of a community extending and remaking itself. Ormsby says he is by nature an ‘anxious optimist’, and these precisely lyrical poems are by turns elegiac and celebratory.
The lights come on and stay on under the trees.
Visibly a whole neighbourhood inhabits the dusk,
so punctual and in place it seems to deny
dark its dominion.
I’ve never heard of this poet before. I just borrowed the collection from random from my digital library because I liked the title and front cover.
I thought Fireflies was an excellent collection of poems. Ormsby’s poems are very vivid and use a lot of description and imagery. They’re the kind of poems I loved to read. Each poem was like a mini story packed with images to appeal to every sense. Some of the poems were outstanding; Valhalla Journal, Catching Fireflies and City Journal took my breath away. I’ll need to read some more of Ormsby’s poems if Fireflies is a representation of his stuff.