Reviewed by Taylor H (Library Staff)
Thaw by Chelsea Dingman has quickly become one of my favorite books of poetry. Dingman’s poems deal with themes of family, tragedy, and mythology, all amidst the cold of winter. There is an earthy yet mystical atmosphere throughout. I enjoyed every single poem in this book, which doesn’t often happen. While it’s impossible to list them all here, my favorites include “Felled Pine” (p. 5), “Epilogue to Drowning” (p. 47), and “Hiraeth” (p. 64). The word “hiraeth” is a Welsh word describing homesickness or nostalgia, feelings the poem embodies beautifully: “Deep inside a twisted wood,/water we could only hear/breathed cool air on our damp skin./I was lost then too.”
I also found many other stunning, nature-focused lines throughout the book. For example, from “Sirens”: “I held the wind/in my throat like a song” (p. 6). And from “After the Accident”: “I can no longer see/the pines, a stitch/of moon through their fingers” (p. 17). The words of all these poems continue to linger with me, several days after reading. I’ll be coming back to this book again soon, and I highly recommend readers pick it up to let the poems speak for themselves.
Available through the Bridges Library System