This breathtaking collection of poems by Deborah Digges, published posthumously, brings us rich stories of family life, nature’s bounty, love, and loss—the overflowing of a heart burdened by grief and moved by beauty.
When Deborah Digges died in the spring of 2009, at the age of fifty-nine, she left this gathering of poems that returns to and expands the creative terrain we recognize as hers. Here are poems that bring to life her rural Missouri childhood in a family with ten children (“Oh what a wedding train / of vagabonds we were who fell asleep just where we lay”); the love between men and women as well as the devastation of widowhood (“love’s house she goes dancing her grief-stricken dance / for his unpacked suitcases, . . . / . . . / his closets of clothes where I crouch like a thief”); and the moods of nature, which schooled her (“A tree will take you in, flush riot of needles light burst, the white pine / grown through sycamore”). Throughout, touching all subjects, either implicitly or explicitly, is the call to poetry itself.
The final work from one of our finest poets, The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart is a uniquely intimate collection, a sustaining pleasure that will stand to remind us of Digges’s gift in decades to come.
Read the title poem in The New Yorker
The poet Deborah Digges was born and raised in Missouri. Her first collection, Vesper Sparrows, won the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Prize from New York University. Late in the Millennium was published in 1989, and Rough Music, which won the Kingsley Tufts Prize, was published in 1995. Trapeze appeared in 2004. Digges also wrote two memoirs, Fugitive Spring (1991) and The Stardust Lounge (2001). The recipient of grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation, Digges lived in Massachusetts, where she was a professor of English at Tufts University until her death in 2009.