Diana M. Raab is a casual poet. "Accessible" is the word so often used for work like hers. Eloquence is often very
simple and this small book of poetry will speak to women as surely as Anais Nin spoke to her.
The entire book is, as the title suggests, inspired by Nin. Raab's work will continue that lovely, rainbow-shaped
arc to go on and inspire other poets. In fact, a section of her book, "Poetry as Bird" is fairly dedicated to her
The ones that touched me most were the ones inspired by her grandmother and aunt. "To Dettner," Raab's grandmother,
reminded me of the debt I owe my grandmother who, even in her bitter years, ended up inspiring much of my novel,
This Is the Place. Much as my
Aunt Haze inspired my short stories and many of my poems, so too did Raab's Aunt Lilly in "My Navigator."
One of my favorite poems is a raucous one called "Hot Flashed Mama." It brought back so many memories of being
the harried parent of young children.
But my favorite is "I Must Have Been Chinese in a Past Life." It is both the love of tolerance and the sheer lack
of it in human cultures everywhere that inspire my writing most. Raab coalesces her instincts that we are all alike
at our cores with simple but artful images like the figure 8.
Raab's poetry isn't so much lyrical as it is confident. Poets and writers—especially women—will find
this book re-readable.