Roshana Nazari Kirchhofer’s poetry collection Finding that Warmth in the Frosty Nights seeks to comfort readers with homemade aphorisms and reassurances that to be human is to struggle.
Most of the poems are brief, pithy, and rhyming. They espouse a positive attitude and advice, sometimes in metaphors, such as “Bright Side,” which reads “Roses are not roses without thorns./ Pleasure doesn’t come without moans./ Unicorns don’t exist with three horns./ Sun always shines after gloomy and loud storms.” Readers will find many poems that follow this optimistic formula.
Occasionally, Kirchhofer surprise readers with interesting pop-culture references. The poem “The Energy Source” begins with a simple statement, “I love cooking.” After four more lines about food and marriage, line six brings this analogy: “It leaves the audience asking for more, like Beyoncé’s/ love songs, and bowl-licking.” Such moments add a welcome quirkiness and enliven the poetry.
Kirchhofer’s poems are earnest and passionate, but too often rhymes seem to take precedence over meaning, and the sing-song nature can lend a trite or nonsensical feeling, as in “Play-Name Doddle”: “I see you as a jewel./ Do not be cruel and brutal./ If you do not understand women, search it up well in Google,/ And please stop petting every other poodle!”
Additionally, some images or descriptions feel awkward or ill-fitting, as with these lines from “Evening Reflection”: “Staring at the angry deep-orange sun and blue sky,/ It makes my soul crunch and cry,/ Leaves my eyes dry.” The contrast of deep orange and blue is lovely, but a soul that crunches has an accidental comic effect. Also, the collection would be stronger without so many rhymes of common words such as “cry.”
Finding that Warmth in the Frosty Nights is an enthusiastic effort but lacks the skill of more sophisticated fare. Greater attention to meaning as opposed to rhyme would substantially enhance this work.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.