Book Review: The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart
Many of us have a time of year, a place, or a memory, which makes us feel quiet and introspective, no matter how busy our lives or our minds are spinning. Deborah Digges’ latest volume of poetry, The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart, is a book which captures a piece of that feeling in a way that is warm, passionate, and calm at the same time.
Through these poems, we are reminded that we have room to look at ourselves slowly, while the world around us may grow wildly and too fast.
The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart is a thin volume; the poems are lightly written in free-verse. But something familiar finds a connection here: birth as the process of a seed, a person, being given life too early, or perhaps too late; the perpetual mystery of losing someone who has become precious to you; different and beautiful ways of discovering peace.
Digges, a native of Missouri, speaks eloquently about the details and people we see around us. Heroic actions, sometimes misunderstood but necessary to save calamities on a family farm: “What does my father do but leap over the hill / and fly a moment, airborne [...]”. The ache that early spring can evoke in us: “It’s where my birds / come from and soon will be returning, monarchs, seed spores, / western woods, my longing.” The fact that a small moment of suffering may redeem us: “Forgive me.”
These poems have an unfinished quality about them, a subtle and familiar rawness behind the lines. They bring to mind the best conversations we’ve had: unrehearsed, supremely well-told. Details given with wistful candor. Hints to deeper history: a pomegranate being substituted with a dragon’s heart; an ongoing undercurrent of loss over time.
Often bewildered, Digges does not seem bitter. Her poetry is straightforward and eloquent. Though some of her sense of loss is acutely apparent in this volume, she only refers to herself as "poet"; never daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, or widow.
The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart is, in fact, a posthumous collection, arranged after Digges’ death last year. The last poem of the volume, “write a book a year,” speaks with the calm acceptance of one who has seen how this life works around her, and knows she is part of this life: “find a way / to sleep awhile, wake clear, and wander.”
The volume has an elegance, simplicity, and humanity which will carry and support the days of anyone who is missing someone right now.
About the Author
Abby Sidener is a full-time Library Sub at the Kansas City Public Library and a public transportation advocate. When she's not helping out patrons at the Library or devouring poetry and short stories, she can often be found handing out books on the Kansas City Metro bus system as a participant in the Mid-America Regional Council's Green Commute Challenge.