Poetry: When No One is Watching by Linathi Makanda

So listen: I don’t read a lot of poetry, mainly because I’ve struggled to understand or identify with a lot of what I’ve tried. I can think of just a few poetry collections that I’ve read over the years, and even fewer poems that have stuck with me.

This collection was different. When No One is Watching is powerful and resonating, and although it most certainly wasn’t written about or for me, I felt very seen and deeply connected to many of these verses. Makanda’s words are raw, painful, hopeful…and above all, relatable in a very human way.

This, from Internal Uprising, is an example of verse that really spoke to me:

I am still learning to find a balance between hating men with every fibre in my bones But still wanting to wake up next to the “right” one for the rest of my life.

Just stunning. I’ve read the whole collection three times now, and I keep finding more to love.


Many thanks to the publisher and the (very gifted) author for the free copy I was given in exchange for this honest review.

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