The Darkness of Snow

The Darkness of Snow

By: Frank Ormsby (author)Paperback

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Poetry Book Society Recommendation The Darkness of Snow is Frank Ormsby's most varied and versatile collection to date. It includes three substantial sets of poems whose themes are refreshingly and sometimes painfully new. One is a suite of poems - sombre, good-humoured, flippant - about the early stages of Parkinson's Disease. Ormsby was diagnosed as having the disease in 2011. Another was prompted by the work of Irish painters in Normandy, Brittany and Belgium at the end of the 19th century. There are also further explorations of his boyhood years in Fermanagh, while poems set in Belfast reflect the aftermath of the Troubles and celebrate the city's current phase of recovery and restoration. The book ends with a narrative poem about the trial of an unnamed tyrant in which we learn about the Accused (as he is called), about the villagers who have travelled to bear witness to the atrocities carried out in the village, and about one of the interpreters, who understands the slipperiness of Truth. The Darkness of Snow covers work written since Frank Ormsby's retrospective, Goat's Milk: New & Selected Poems (2015). His broad range and eye for the particular combine to make this an exceptional collection.

About Author

Frank Ormsby was born in 1947, in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, and was educated at Queen's University in Belfast. He is Head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. His latest collection is The Darkness of Snow (Bloodaxe Books, 2017), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His retrospective Goat's Milk: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2015), includes work from four previous collections, A Store of Candles (Oxford University Press, 1977), A Northern Spring (Secker & Warburg, 1986), The Ghost Train (Gallery Press, 1995) and Fireflies (Carcanet, 2009), together with new poems. He has edited a number of anthologies and other books, including Northern Windows: An Anthology of Ulster Autobiography (1987), Thine in Storm and Calm: An Amanda McKittrick Ros Reader (1988), The Collected Poems of John Hewitt (1991), and The Hip Flask: Short Poems from Ireland (2001), all from Blackstaff Press, and The Blackbird's Nest (2006), an anthology of poems from Queen's University, Belfast. Frank Ormsby was editor of The Honest Ulsterman from 1969 to 1989, and has also edited Poetry Ireland Review. In 1992 he received the Cultural Traditions Award, given in memory of John Hewitt, and in 2002 the Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the University of St Thomas at St Paul, Minnesota.


I 13 Altar Boy 14 Altar Boy Economics 15 1959-1960 16 The Cash Railway 17 The National Anthem 18 The Fields 19 Neddy 20 Snow on the Way 21 The Fox 22 Owls 23 Do You Renounce? 24 Inoculation 25 The Gang 26 Diversion 27 Omagh 28 Rhododendrons 29 Ruts 30 Unapproved Roads 31 Storms 33 Loss of Sound 34 The Woodpile 35 Snowdrop 36 Landscape with Endangered Species 37 Unfinished Music 38 Towards a Sketch of My Mother 39 After a Storm 40 A Zen Dream of Fermanagh 41 My Father Again 42 The Farmyard Haiku II 44 The Fisherman 45 The Black Duckling 46 The Waterworks Park 47 Crows Again 48 At the Graveside 49 My Last Words 50 Purgatory 51 Gunslingers 52 For Ciaran Carson 53 Lunch in The Crown with Michael Longley 54 An Evening in The John Hewitt with Conor Macauley 55 Visiting the Grave 56 Grandfather's Week 57 Small World (3) 58 The Snail 59 The Soul 60 The Cult 61 Outside The Walls 62 After Edward Hopper: Sun in an Empty Room 63 No Telling 64 Belfast Needs Fountains III TWENTY-SIX IRISH PAINTINGS 66 1 Aloysius O'Kelly: The Christening Party 67 2 John Lavery: Under the Cherry Tree 69 3 Walter Osborne: Apple Gathering, Quimperle 70 4 Stanley Royle: The Goose Girl 71 5 Norman Garstin: Among the Pots 72 6 Norman Garstin: Madonna Lilies 73 7 Joseph Malachy Kavanagh: Pursuing His Gentle Calling 74 8 Richard Thomas Moynan: Girls Reading a Newspaper 75 9 Walter Osborne: Breton Girl by a River 76 10 Roderic O'Conor: Portrait of a Young Woman Smiling 77 11 May Guinness: Pump at Pont-l'Abbe 78 12 Nathaniel Hone: Feeding Pigeons, Barbizon 79 13 Stanhope Forbes: Miss Ormsby, Later Mrs Homan 80 14 Frank O'Meara: Towards Night and Winter 81 15 William John Leech: Convent Garden, Brittany 82 16 Mary Swanzy: The Clown by Candlelight 83 17 Frank O'Meara: On the Quays, Etaples 84 18 Henry Jones Thaddeus: The Wounded Poacher 85 19 Frank O'Meara: The Widow 86 20 Augustus Nicholas Burke: Farmyard in Brittany 87 21 William John Leech: Interior of a Barber's Shop 88 22 Stanhope Forbes: Street in Brittany 89 23 Norman Garstin: Estaminet in Belgium 90 24 Richard Thomas Moynan: The Laundress 91 25 Nathaniel Hone: Old Woman Gathering Sticks 92 26 Nathaniel Hone: Leafy Lane IV THE PARKINSON'S POEMS 95 Agitans 96 Tremors 97 Side Effects (1) 98 Notes in Small Handwriting 99 The Insulin Pen 100 Hallucinations (1) 101 Hallucinations (2) 102 Hallucinations (3) 103 Friends 104 Side Effects (2) 105 Side Effects (3) 106 Once a Day 107 The Later Stages (1) 108 The Later Stages (2) V THE WILLOW FOREST 111 The Accused (1) 112 The Interpreter (1) 113 Witness A 115 Witness B 116 The Accused (2) 117 The Interpreter (2) 118 Witness G 119 The Interpreter (3) 120 Witness J 121 The Interpreter (4) 122 The Undertaker's Wife 124 The Accused (3) 125 The Interpreter (5) 126 The Willow Forest 128 Notes

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781780373669
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 128
  • ID: 9781780373669
  • ISBN10: 178037366X

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