REVIEW: The Death of Night. Selected poems by Ndrek Gjini. Pbck. 89pp. Emal publishers. ISBN 9928-04-026-5

By Gerard Hanberry*

Ndrek Gjini arrived in the West of Ireland from his native Albania in 2002 to begin another phase in his life which included mastering a new language, English, and eventually earning an Honours BA and later an MA in Writing from National University of Ireland, Galway. Ndrek, who has previously written and published in his native Albania, has now written a collection of poetry in English called The Death of Night and published by Emal.

This collection shows the poet’s deep concern for issues such as justice, peace and ecology. Many of the poems in this fine collection express a desire for a better, kinder world, a place free from suffering, where humanity does not degrade itself or despoil the natural world. It reveals his desire for decency and openness in people’s dealings with each other and with the world. The poem ‘Closed Doors’ ends with the lines ‘I started to hate the closure of doors. / To me they sound like coffin lids.’

Poems such as ‘Unfair World’ and ‘War Against Doubt’ further explore these themes of ecology and humanity. ‘Every time we believe, / we extend our lives a little bit’. In this collection the poet brings his sensibilities to bear on a world he knows to be flawed but which also contains beauty and the potential to be so much better. The collection ends on an optimistic note with a poem called ‘Bridges’. The last stanza reads: ‘Yet as long as more bridges / are being built than destroyed / love prevails over hate.’

My personal favourite from this enjoyable collection is a short lyric called ‘Autumn’ , an outstanding poem in a collection I can warmly recommend. Available from Charley Byrnes Bookshop and other outlets.


* Gerard Hanberry is an award-winning Irish poet. He lives in Galway, Ireland. Hanberry’s poetry has been published widely in many literary journals and newspapers and has been shortlisted for many of Ireland’s top poetry prizes, including a Sunday Tribune/Hennessy Award in 2000, Strokestown Prize 2003 and RTÉ’s Rattlebag Poetry Slam 2003.