New Collection: Hiraeth Poems by @pyramnesiac

New Collection: Hiraeth Poems

I am so excited to present my new collection to you: Hiraeth Poems.

This post is long, but for a TL;DR: I’m launching a new collection on, which will become the home for most of my future poetry drops. I am opening it with the numbered stanzas of my poem entitled “Hiraeth.” I have integrated these poems with some of my pieces (which is an amazing project, btw, and I cannot wait to see where they go with it).

Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has no equivalent in the English language but can be compared to nostalgia or homesickness. It is similar to the Portuguese saudade in that there is a sense of longing for something one will never have again. Hiraeth can sometimes refer to something that one never actually had, or a nostalgia created by a memory that has shifted so much that the thing you remember never actually existed at all.

The word hiraeth was all over Instagram poetry when I first wrote my poem of the same title, and I was already a little over it. But my professor/advisor, having never heard the word, latched onto it and insisted that I must make it the title piece for my entire thesis. Which I did…but it never felt quite right.

It’s been several years now. Soon after graduation, life happened. I got pregnant, which was a complete surprise (my husband and I had been trying for 10 years). Poetry went on the back burner.

She is nearly two now, and I have only just been able to manage enough to dedicate time (and mental capacity) to write and care about poetry again. And on a lark, I asked my poet friend if he knew of poets doing anything in the NFT space. So here I came and here I found and met so many people who are warm and welcoming and doing such inspiring things with their art and poetry.

I have been minting poems for a couple of months now, randomly, with no idea what I wanted my work to look like in this space that we all share. I was putting out poems, but it was basically me trying to see how this whole thing works.

Then recently, in the CW discord, we were prompted in a workshop to write a numbered poem. It made me go back to look at “Hiraeth” again, a numbered poem. All of a sudden, I realized why my professor latched onto it for my thesis title.

In my work, there’s always this element of wanting to describe the “past before the past” the primordial source, the engines of creation, folklore, mythology, lost civilizations. All of these are encompassed, to me, in hiraeth. We have this innate knowledge in our spirits that recognizes the sparks and currents of that past, yet does not have access to or memory of its fullness.

But I also love to write about the future, the philosophical what-ifs, the post-apocalyptic, future utopias and dystopias, what I have always called my “sci-fi dreams.”

The thing that inspired me to create this collection was this realization that hiraeth can also be forward-looking. It can be a yearning for something you wish for the future but know will not come to pass. It can be a melancholy for the infinite possible futures that diminish as certain choices are made.

In this way, hiraeth is a fundamental part of the human condition. There is room in hiraeth, as well, for the pastoral home life, the poems of nature that I like to write, the poems of intense emotional, interpersonal narratives.

At its root, hiraeth is a longing for the impossible manifestation of what our heart and mind know in full, whether in memory or in future hope. It is reaching for that which is just out of our grasp. In poetry, this can be expressed in the inevitable imperfection of any metaphor, the impossibility of any true “objective correlative.” Yet we can come close. As Browning put it, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

The myriad ways that we grapple with this, in fractal iterations, is a result of hiraeth that resides in our hearts.

I’m aware that I may have gotten “hiraeth” wrong in its traditional sense. But this is how I, with Welsh roots, am making sense of it for me and for my work.  

The first nine pieces will be the numbered stanzas of my original Hiraeth poem, but the collection will be ongoing as I find new pieces that fit into the concept of hiraeth. I may still release poems outside of the collection, but this will be my primary focus moving forward. I will also keep doing poems with audio, as some of you have seen from my HEN pieces. That just didn’t really fit well for these first nine pieces.

If you have read this far, thank you! I hope to connect with more and more of you as I continue to consume and create art.

Published by pyramnesiac

freelance editor, writer of sci-fi dreams and poems

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