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Facsimiles of Time
     

Facsimiles of Time

by Eric Ormsby
 

Eric Ormsby is a poet who writes prose that is both graceful and hard-headed. With an outspoken contempt for cant and literary persiflage, Ormsby ranges over a surprising array of writers and literatures. Each essay involves a new and sometimes startling viewpoint, whether on Hart Crane's homosexuality and its effect on his poems or the strange and twisted, yet

Overview

Eric Ormsby is a poet who writes prose that is both graceful and hard-headed. With an outspoken contempt for cant and literary persiflage, Ormsby ranges over a surprising array of writers and literatures. Each essay involves a new and sometimes startling viewpoint, whether on Hart Crane's homosexuality and its effect on his poems or the strange and twisted, yet redeeming, place which Shakespeare held in his own family history. From American and Canadian poetry to Classical Arabic literature Ormsby brings a fresh slant and incisive expression to his prose.

What was Franz Kafka doing at a ski resort in the last years of his life and what did he do there besides tobogganing? Everyone knows that Jorge Luis Borges was bookish, but did you know he was bloodthirsty as well? How is Pat Lowther's posthumous reputation as a poet connected with the brutal circumstances of her murder? These and other mysteries are explored in the 17 elegant essays that make up Eric Ormby's new book.

Editorial Reviews

The New Criterion

'... his poems afford the rare pleasure of listening to a polished yet deeply humane sensibility respond, in language of exhilarating verve, to whatever it seizes on or despairs of.'

— Ben Downing

The Afterword

'... Ormsby is one of the two or three best English-language poets we [Canada] can fairly lay claim to. A fact that should be recognized someday.'

— Alex Good & Steven W. Beattie

Montreal Review of Books - Ian Ferrier
'From the heights of a sand dune in the desert to the achievements of Hart Crane and the minutae of a letter by Marianne Moore, Ormsby presents us with a world that is always fresh, and continually fascinating.'
Books in Canada - Chris Wiseman
'Always, with Ormsby, things come down to the primacy of the word — the sounds which shape and give ultimate authority. This is refreshing. It's sophisticated yet not done in a complex or over-technical way. It helps to eliminate the general and abstract at the same time as it shows the way such things can and do transform the ordinary into something greater, more permanent, able, through the shaping, to encompass and embody experience. It's admirable criticism and scholarship, certainly, but with the added dimensions of a poet's working knowledge, of fluent multilingual abilities, and a determined search for the almost sacramental autonomy of word and form. It's a heady brew.'
Books in Canada - Norma Doidge
'Ormsby is one of the most talented poets writing in the English language at this time — that is to say, not one of the hundreds of fine poets writing, or one of the finest Canadian poets — but one of a handful of the best meditative poets writing in the English language.'
Montreal Review of Books

'From the heights of a sand dune in the desert to the achievements of Hart Crane and the minutae of a letter by Marianne Moore, Ormsby presents us with a world that is always fresh, and continually fascinating.'

— Ian Ferrier

Books in Canada

'Ormsby is one of the most talented poets writing in the English language at this time -- that is to say, not one of the hundreds of fine poets writing, or one of the finest Canadian poets -- but one of a handful of the best meditative poets writing in the English language.'

— Norma Doidge

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780889842267
Publisher:
Porcupine's Quill, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/28/2001
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.71(h) x 0.79(d)

What People are Saying About This

John Updike

'[Ormsby] is a most excellent poet, resonant and delicately exact with words and objects. Ormsby's reverent attention to things as they are lights up every page with a glow.'

Meet the Author

Eric Ormsby's poetry has appeared in most of the major journals in Canada, England and the U.S., including The New Yorker, Parnassus and The Oxford American. His first collection of poems, Bavarian Shrine and other poems (ECW Press, 1990), won the QSpell Award of 1991. In the following year he received an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award for 'outstanding work as a poet'. His collection, Coastlines (ECW Press, 1992), was a finalist for the QSpell Award of that year.

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