For a Modest God by Eric Ormsby
New and Selected Poems (Grove Press Poetry Series)

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Ormsby's new work is here presented together with a generous selection from two previous volumes published in Canada, Bavarian Shrine and Other Poems and Coastlines. In this earlier material, the poet delights in celebrating the hidden life in everyday objects: a twisted nail, a seashell, a roadside weed, the human body itself. Revealing the mystery and amazement contained in the quotidian, Ormsby's poetry has always been able to transmute the humblest object by virtue of his stunning gift for metaphor and his opulent exuberance of language. This is a poet whose verse rewards both the head and the heart, who can discover entire galaxies in a scrap of lichen, who can locate an entire lifetime of submerged emotion in the touch of an old woman's hand.

About Eric Ormsby

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Published March 21, 1997 by Grove Press. 139 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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At his most arch, Ormsby draws from a gratuitously large vocabulary to talk to the animals: ""My quarrel with your quorum, Monsignor/ Flamingo, is that you scant the rubicund/ in favor of a fatal petal tint."" Then, by way of overcompensation, he will turn to plain vanilla: ""This is our history....

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Boston Review

Scrupulous poets, Eric Ormsby has suggested, maintain "a fidelity, almost Linnaen in intensity, to the entire character of words--individual words and words acting in concert."

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