Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Dear Anais by Diana M Raab
Dear Anaïs: My Life in Poems For You by Diana M Raab is a melding of memoir and poetry. In tightly condensed free verse, Raab shares her childhood experiences growing up in New York City, ice skating, and early romance. She moves the reader through marriage and moves, childhood to peri-menopause, and throughout uses imagery that is evocative and accessible. When something is reiterated it feels genuine, the way the present is informed by the past and that one past experience can influence the present moment time and time again.
Although the poems are chronologically organized, each piece focuses like a laser on a singular place of Raab’s story so there is much left between the poems to be puzzled out. The poems read like personal love letters, diary entries designed to recall just this one event, defined as significant in that it is recorded. How much of what we experience is lost because we didn’t take a moment to write them down? In this collection of poetry, Raab invites the reader to listen to her memories. Is it any wonder then that this reader found herself reaching for a notebook and remembering things from her own childhood and life? Probably not. And even though I can write about going to Horn and Hardart or what Jones beach feels like between my toes, I don’t think that a non-NYer would be any less inspired by Raab’s evocative verse than I.
You can read one of the poems from this collection here.