Shore, Dina Elenbogen’s ambitious new book, speaks about and stands up against a global pandemic of violence, bearing witness both to the suffering and loss in our world, but also to the healing power of family, faith, community, nature, and, most profoundly, words. In one poem, Elenbogen offers this plea: “Dear language / Don’t abandon us just yet / the icicles have melted / words are our only weapon”—a weapon we can wield to secure, for all of humanity, a sense of safety, rootedness, and hope. As we move through the richness of these poems, we encounter such haunting beauty—daffodils that “bow down and weep,” mother birds who “take the names of angels,” the “tinted windows of history” in our own mothers’ nostalgia, and ultimately a “holiday of plagues”—and arrive, uplifted and inspired, at a place of stillness where “something deeper than love” can be found.
—Faisal Mohyuddin, author of
The Displaced Children of Displaced Children