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The Taste of The Earth by Hedy Habra
Book Review by Saloua Ben Amor
Hedy Habra’s collection of poems, The Taste of the Earth, speaks with “caressing syllables and fragrant language.” Habra’s poems are tense, “heavy with memories”, full of images drawn from the bleak, vivid memories of the civil war in Lebanon. Her poems are redolent with Egyptian, Syrian, and Lebanese mysticism and lyricism. Habra’s poetic language is unique, rich, and powerful. Her imagination is boundless, succinct, poignant. Her “dormant well” rekindles memories of trauma, nostalgia, and loss. Habra expresses elegantly her pain and suffering. Her poems are flying carpets that take you on a journey to the Middle East. It invites all your senses. It makes you breathe in the scents of the Jacaranda, thyme, oleander, lemon, and Damascus’ dark tea and pastries. It makes you listen to the sound of creeks, gunshot, and “the throbbing under the earth”. These poems embark the reader on synesthetic journeys.
Saloua Ben Amor is a Tunisian educator and holds an MA in Canadian Literature. She is a committed educator and instructor. Ben Amor is known for her translation work in English, French, and Arabic.
Hedy Habra has authored three poetry collections, most recently, TheTaste of the Earth (Press 53 2019), finalist for the USA Best Book Award. Tea in Heliopolis won the USA Best Book Award and Under Brushstrokes, was finalist for the USA Best Book Award and the International BookAward. Her story collection, Flying Carpets, won the Arab American BookAward’s Honorable Mention and was finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. A fourteen-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, her work appears in numerous publications. Her website is hedyhabra.com