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Boundaries and Other Poems (Corgi Series: 19)

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Manylion a Disgrifiad y Llyfr | Book Details & Description

  • ISBN: 9780863817199
  • Author: John Ormond
  • Publication February 2005
  • Format: Paperback, 148x105 mm, 80 pages

A collection of the poetry of John Ormond (1923-90), comprising 34 poems written with tender humour which reflect the joys and sorrows of life and the dignified courage of mankind.

Gwales Review
This is another inspiring collection from the Corgi series – John Ormond’s well-known poems are highly engaging and beautiful.

His early poetic descriptions of Swansea and Dunvant characters are fine examples of his ability to portray character in poetry with gentle humour at play, such as Will Brando in 'Full-length portrait of a short man': ‘In fact, he’d been a tailor; from boyhood sat so long cross-legged, picking, re-picking his needle as though piercing portraits of dust, his sewing hand conducting the diminishing slow movement of silk into seam . . .' and in ‘The Organist’: ‘sole village master of the yellowing manual’.

‘Letter to a Geologist’ is a moving account of a friendship at a distance. The subject matter keeps the form of a poem neatly: ‘you write of your November find, fossil coral within a spit of that house of yours (which is too far for me. The freehold of our friendship is at stake); the coral, Bring me a piece of it, bring it soon.’

He takes his works regarding ancient landscapes further into rich poetic language in ‘Ancient Monuments’: ‘disguised as gate-posts in a hedge; and some, For centuries on duty as scratching-posts, Are screened by ponies on blank uplands.’

Ormond’s later poems are rich in colour and equally well-crafted, with a sense of wonder coming through. His description of swifts in the poem ‘Evening in the square’ ‘invisibly mending the sky’ is charming in its sensitivity. The passionate ‘Tuscan Cypresses’ is an intricately-woven longer poem where cultural symbolism and visual richness abound.

This is altogether a beautifully composed collection of poems, where Ormond’s visual sensitivity shines through.

Clare Maynard