Book Review: “Hiding in a Thimble” by Roseanna Alice Boswell

Where the personal and the relatable share a bed.

Get ready to start the new year off with a poetic bang as Roseanna Alice Boswell’s debut poetry collection Hiding in a Thimble releases in January 2021. Hailing from Haverthorn Press, this collection packs unabashed emotion with sheer passion and incredibly clever wit.

Divided into five volumes of eight poems each, Hiding in a Thimble is nostalgic not only for the past but also for the present and future. It is born at their intersection, and what Boswell does so brilliantly is to capture the anxiety and raw emotion that comes with the passing of time. She recounts nostalgia for 2002 and the parts of her that she inherited from her mother, foretells how she will treat her future daughter, and revels in the love she’s built with her partner.

Boswell’s charm comes in part through her metaphor, allegory, and references. With references to Taylor Swift, Honey Boo Boo, the Olsen twins, and more, she integrates contemporary pop culture into her poems in a way that is both refreshing and intriguing. One of our favorite poems that highlights her clever comparisons is “I’m Sorry I’m Not an Iguana.” In this poem, she writes, “I really tried to grow scales/on Tuesday, but they fell off in the bath…I’ve never learned the thickness/of a skin not swayed by suggestion.” There is a punch in the ending of this stanza, and this powerful writing persists throughout the collection’s entirety. There are plenty of animals, too, so you can look forward to hopping into multiple bunny poems!

Ultimately, Boswell elicits and maintains images of unwavering love and home throughout Hiding in a Thimble, beginning with its title. By this, we don’t mean a physical home; rather, through her words, Boswell constructs a space that is both personal and relatable where the reader feels at home because they are understood. You leave this collection with more self-love than you enter it with.

As always, we want to highlight a stanza we find particularly striking. From this collection, we’ve chosen a stanza from the poem “Wicked Women Fables.” Boswell writes:

…and dream-you asked dream-me
what I had done to deserve this
and didn’t I know they only declaw cats who scratch? and I remembered…

As a bonus this time, we also want to note a particularly delightful excerpt from “Dovetailed”:

…Comfort is built

into all my pores & everybody wants to stay

 

the night. A hero’s resting place is only

as good as the grass he lays his head on.

 

I am becoming greener by the minute.

Boswell can be found on both Twitter and Instagram @swellbunny, and Hiding in a Thimble can be purchased from Haverthorn Press upon its release in January 2021.

As an extra surprise, Boswell has also curated a music playlist to accompany her collection. It’s comprised of thirteen powerful songs that blend with her words brilliantly, and it can be found on Apple Music.

Are you as excited about this poetry collection as we are? Tweet us @Fuzzable with all of your love for poetry, Roseanna Alice Boswell, and thimbles everywhere!

Written by Preston Smith

capricorn, coffee addict, cat owner

twitter & instagram: @psm_writes
www.psmwrites.com

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