December is Poetry Book Review Month
“Open a New Door is a poetic peep into the lives of the poets, Kim Blades, and Robbie Cheadle, both of whom live in South Africa.
The book is divided into four categories: God bless Africa, God bless my family and friends, God bless me and God bless corporates and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, freestyle, haiku, and tanka, in each of these categories and include colourful depictions of their thoughts and emotions.”
The purpose of this book of poetry is encapsulated in the following tanka and haiku poems:
What drives me to write?
To share my innermost thoughts
The answer is clear
It’s my personal attempt
To make some sense of this world.
Like the unfurling petals
Of the Desert Rose
Title: Open a New Door, A Collection of Poems
Amazon Author Page: Robbie Cheadle & Kim Blades
Publication Date: November 1, 2018
Formats: Paperback & Kindle
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Poetry, Regional & Cultural, African
Poetry encourages a reader to get in touch with the emotions they feel when reading the written word. “Open a New Door,” does exactly that. The book is divided into four categories: God Bless Africa, God Bless of my Family & Friends, God Bless Me, and God Bless Corporates & Work, which are then sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly, of the continent they call home.
The book is liberally sprinkled with photos and even some image poetry, all sharing the thoughts and observations of the two authors. Their writing styles are different but they compliment each other perfectly allowing for smooth reading.
Africa is filled with extremes, ranging from the landscape to the temperatures, to the animals and the people, all impacting the culture of one of the largest continents on earth. The author’s poetry reflects the diversity of the people and how poverty has infiltrated and changed their societal views.
For someone who knows little about the life and culture of Africa, I found my own perceptions changed with each new poem.
One of my favorite poems written by Kim Blades was: “Lessons learned in a rural African village.” Her words tell the story of growing up with all the comforts: food, water, love, and plenty of sunshine. She compares her life to that of an aged beggar who lives at the edge of her village. The man has little food, and the people of the town always give him their leftover bread. He passes on the good deed by sharing his crumbs with the birds. The lesson is that we receive what we give. What a wonderful thought!
Robbie Cheadle shares a poem that also touched my heart but in a different way. It’s called “Disillusionment” and speaks of a world lacking in ethics while making decisions by using plastic integrity. I couldn’t help but draw similarities to what’s happening in my own government right now.
I enjoyed this collection of poems because it exposed me to a different culture and way of thinking. After each poem, the authors share their thoughts revealing what prompted them to write the particular piece, making their prose more intimate and intense.
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies
*I follow the Amazon Rating System*
Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.
Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.
Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books.
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