Thaw: Poems by Chelsea Dingman is the poet’s first published collection. Dingman teaches at the University of South Florida. She is originally from British Columbia, Canada. Dingman has lived in four countries and countless cities in North America. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband and two small children.
Dingman’s collection of poetry centers on the poet’s relationship as a mother and daughter. With that being said, most of the poetry was outside of my male range of interest being neither mother or daughter nor even a having a daughter. Despite the subject matter, I saw something amazing in the writing. Although appearing as neatly formed lines and stanzas, Dingman manages to work line breaks and stanzas in a creative manner. Several times, I saw a stanza end with a word, or perhaps a phrase, that seemed to end the line. Although it physically ends one line it also served as the beginning of the next. The single word performed a double duty. It is almost reflective in nature.
…Great pines resting their heads
against the sky. The colours
at dawn, sweet chill in the summer
grass before early snows. When I return,
“The colours” seems to draw the reader back the green of the pines against the blue of the sky and at the same time taking the reader to the violet, blue, red, and yellow of dawn. She repeats that again with the next line with a morning chill, even in summer, and summer grass.
Not all the poems carry that particularly feminine theme I mentioned above. There are poems of loss and death as well as poems that reflect a connection to nature. Although not particularly my type of poetry, the writing style and use of the written form kept me reading and searching for new discoveries. This is a collection where poetic form captured and held my attention rather than the topic.