by Diana M. Raab
published by Antrim
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: Verse, 100 Books in a Year
In Listening to Africa, poet Diana M. Raab details her trip to Africa. The sights on the trip, so different from America, bring about many emotions and reminiscences in Raab, from her fear that her frail immune system might not be able to handle some of the bug-carried diseases ("The Scent of Death") to how much her son reminds her of her deceased father ("Your Camera"). However, these heavy moments are also balanced by lighter ones, notably when she is observing the wildlife such as monkeys ("Mischievous Monkeys") and dug beetles ("Dung Beetles").
As a whole, Listening to Africa wonderfully captures the feel of Diana M. Raab's experience. However, there were times when it felt like she was holding back a little, teasing the reader with a taste of the culture rather that fully emerging the reader in Africa.