For a Modest God
New and Selected Poems
978-0-8021-1607-9 • $20.00 • Cloth • Apr. 1997
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.