Category Archives: Poet

Miriam’s Book Review of “Open a New Door” by Robbie Cheadle and Kim Blades

The Author’s Words

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 corporate and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, free-style,haiku and tanka, in each of these categories and include colorful 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.


Inspiration blossoms
Like the unfurling petals
Of the Desert Rose

My Recommendation

Open a New Door by Robbie Cheadle and Kim Blades is a poetry collection with themes on the nature and life in Africa, the poets’ families and friends,their personal lives and the cooperate world. In each theme, the poets explored the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of each poem, a short narrative gave the background or situation under which the poems were written. The poems are modern, free verse with rhymes and no rhymes. Each poem is easy to read in the length or one or two pages.

In the theme of life in Africa, Robbie Cheadle showed her compassion toward the poverty of African people young and old whose bread of the day depended on the begging, and their hope of life seemed to fade. Kim Blades described her mother raised her in a rural mountain village and learned to appreciate the nature,and concluded that the Love of Nature leads to the Love of Man. Among the cat family, I like Cheetah the best, I could visualize in Kim’s poems reflecting on the Cheetah’s running. The honey-badger, like most of the animals, protected the meal reminded of many nature documentary videos I’ve watched.

In the theme of the poets’ families, Robbie shared her joy of having a son with an amazing mind and her worry about another son’s physical disease; whereas Kim depicted her delightful interaction with her son. As a parent, I could relate the joyous and anxious emotions. 

In the theme of personal life, I appreciated Kim’s honesty expressing her emotion about her husband leaving her and her loneliness. Robbie’s poem “My Mind’s Eye” beautifully depicted the way she saw her life from childhood to adulthood and her acceptance of what life has brought her.

This poetry collection covers a wide range of personal experiences, observation and emotions. Many people could relate to them.

My Goodreads Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars



About the Author

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 specializes 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.

Contact Robbie Cheadle at:

Website: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robbie.cheadle.7

Authors’ Day

The Authors’ Day for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at California State University, Fullerton, California was on October 4, 2018. OLLI is a program for the semi-retired and retired individuals. The program offers a couple hundred classes and are conducted by volunteer retired professionals. One class is Publish Before You Perish. The OLLI members have published many books. On this day, the authors promoted their books and did the book signing.

There were fourteen authors at the October 4 Authors’ Day. I’m still in the final stage of editing my poetry book but was invited to take part for the pre-launch promotion.

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The next Authors’ Day will be on October 27, 2018 at the Fullerton Public Library. Besides the book promotion, there will be three panel presentations by the best-selling authors and some OLLI authors. Read more

To a Daughter Leaving Home by Linda Pastan

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On May 27, 1932, Linda Pastan was born to a Jewish family in the Bronx. She graduated from Radcliffe College and received an MA from Brandeis University.
Among her publications are – Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 (W. W. Norton, 1998), which was nominated for the National Book Award; The Imperfect Paradise (W. W. Norton, 1988), a nominee for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Linda Pastan lives in Potomac, Maryland.

I feature two of her poems. The first one makes me laugh and think. When I first read the title, I thought she was writing about her daughter going to college, or at a wedding. When I read on to the last line, I could feel her heart. Yes, our children leave us in different stages and different circumstances.

I found myself letting Mercy go little by little as she was growing up. Letting her go in a way of respect her to become independent but still stay close by to be her support. When Mercy was in fifth grade, she configured my first cell phone. When she was a young adult, she became my friend as remains to be my daughter. At the present, I rely on her expertise and am not afraid to ask.

~

To A Daughter Leaving Home by Linda Pastan

When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.

The second poem evokes my reflection on the question: when am I most myself? I think it is ever since I had cancer. I reflect on life vs. death, health vs. sickness, essential vs. contemporary, personal right vs. relationship. I accept who I am and no interest in pretending. I’m satisfied with what I have and no ambition to acquire “one more.”

~

Something About the Trees by Linda Pastan

I remember what my father told me:
There is an age when you are most yourself.
He was just past fifty then,
Was it something about the trees that make him speak?
There is an age when you are most yourself.
I know more than I did once.
Was it something about the trees that make him speak?
Only a single leaf had turned so far.
I know more than I did once.
I used to think he’d always be the surgeon.
Only a single leaf had turned so far,
Even his body kept its secrets.
I used to think he’d always be the surgeon,
My mother was the perfect surgeon’s wife.
Even his body kept its secrets.
I thought they both would live forever.
My mother was the perfect surgeon’s wife,
I can still see her face at thirty.
I thought they both would live forever.
I thought I’d always be their child.
I can still see her face at thirty.
When will I be most myself?
I thought I’d always be their child.
In my sleep, it’s never winter.
When will I be most myself?
I remember what my father told me.
In my sleep, it’s never winter.
He was just past fifty then.

~

This is an expansion of Pantoum Poem Form from 4 stanzas to 7 stanzas.
Stanza 1: 1, 2, 3, 4
Stanza 2: 2, 5, 4, 6
Stanza 3: 5, 7, 6, 8
Stanza 4: 7, 9, 8, 10
Stanza 5: 9, 11, 10, 12
Stanza 6: 11, 13, 12, 14
Stanza 7: 13, 1, 14, 3

 

 

American Poet – Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop (February 8, 1911 – October 6, 1979) was an American poet and short-story writer. She was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1949 to 1950, the Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry in 1956, the National Book Award winner in 1970, and the recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1976.

The following are two of my favorite poems by Elizabeth Bishop.

 

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The Art of Losing 

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! My last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

– Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like a disaster.

Form: Villanelle

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I Am In Need Of Music 

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.