(How Poems Work, November 2005)
As in Outram’s “Story,” the aural weave of this poem is tight: not only with rhyme and alliteration, but with repetition (heft/heft, evening/evening, thunder/thunder). Like Corkett’s poem, this one employs a strong falling rhythm that elbows its way into one’s mind. Unlike Outram’s and Corkett’s poems, however, George Johnston’s “Firefly Evening” does not have an obvious narrative line. It is less about story than it is about image; its effects are less cerebral than sensual.