Book Reviews

Book Review: The Smallest of Bones by Holly Lyn Walrath

The Smallest of Bones
Holly Lyn Walrath

The Smallest of Bones by Holly Lyn Walrath

My Thoughts~

Almost like chapter titles, major bones of the body are detailed, breaking up the many poems. Each with an explanation how bones protect vital organs. Bones, caging the body from harm. What a wonderful notion that bones may cage our feelings in a flight to protect from emotional harm.

I was anxious to read The Smallest of Bones since I loved Glimmerglass Girl so much. Even though I had an idea of what to expect from this author, I was overwhelmingly surprised. The truth is, I love this new poetry book even more, maybe. It’s hard to say, I love them both. Holly Lyn Walrath gets to the grit, writes from a familiar perspective and reveals secrets without shame.

I started reading before I looked at the description to give myself a chance to feel it. In these words, I read loss, grief, disappointment, yearning, regret and anger. Feelings that are common I suppose with most. Expressing them, letting them out, getting to the height of the pain, is more difficult and uncommon.

It is always possible the author did not intend what the reader gets from the words. Maybe that is what makes poetry what it is, something to read, take it in and let it move you. Any way it moves you, is ok.

For me, poetry is a sense of soothing, understanding and comfort. Though the words may seem weird, maybe morbid leaning toward macabre even, they are moving. The words moved me certainly and I felt connected to them. Words saying exactly what is not easily said aloud.

The cover is captivating and pulls at me. It caught my attention and I wanted to know, to get closer to this poetry. I see birds in a cage. Fragile things unable to break free. Maybe bones are the cage we make for ourselves to protect and sometimes maybe the bones are the cages society builds for one another. Then, with no possibility of escape.

The title fits what is inside. A thought, an idea that bursts with every verse. The poems are beautifully styled. The subject matter is striking. I absolutely love it.

Title : The Smallest of Bones
Author : Holly Lyn Walrath
Pub Date : September 28, 2021
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Clash Books
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏: ‎ 90 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1944866957
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1944866952

A haunting ossuary of tiny poems covering a wide range of topics such as love, romance, relationships, queer sexuality, religion, death, demons, ghosts, bones, gender, and darkness. 

The Smallest of Bones guides those on an intimate journey of body acceptance, with sparse words dedicated to peeling back skin and diving bone-deep into the self. Raw, honest, and powerful, this collection is an offering to those struggling to find power in the darkness.

“Between stars and shards of bone, Holly Lyn Walrath invites the reader to build a skeleton with her words, to get lost between the dark spaces of curved ribs. The Smallest of Bones offers so much within each poem – here, we wander beneath the moon and speak with ghosts; we transform under the night sky and haunt our own minds as the words encourage us to strip back the skin and expose rawness and vulnerability. A beautiful collection!”

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