Psalm One | Christian Meditation | 5 Minutes Prayer| Devotional | BUD & BLOOM Series

Psalm One | Christian Meditation | 5 Minutes Prayer| Devotional | BUD & BLOOM Series

hello and welcome to the bud and bloom meditation series.

today we meditate on psalm one which encourages us to meditate on the word of the lord day and night. to start meditation, let’s begin with opening prayer in three parts which is to give thanks, pray for forgiveness and the pray with the Lord’s prayer.

Give thanks prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for today, I thank you for Your lovingkindness, your goodness and faithfulness. I thank You for your peace, I thank you for your love, I thank you for Your grace, I thank you for Your grace, I thank you for Your mercy, I thank you for Your lovingkindness, You are a good good God and You have been good to me. So Lord, I give you thanks. I praise Your holy name. I worship You for who You are to me Oh God. You are the God who hears, the God who sees. The God who listens and the God who cares. The God who is with me, who has never left me and has never forsaken me. I thank you Lord and I worship you with all my heart, mind, soul strength. Help me to love you Lord and to love my neighbour as myself. In Jesus Name we pray.

AMEN

Forgiveness Prayer

Forgiveness prayer Lord, I pray for forgiveness of sins, I pray that You forgive me for all my sins.

The ones I have committed on purpose, and the one I have committed unintentionally.

I pray for forgiveness that Your lovingkindness and the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all my sins.

Lord I thank you for the power in the blood of Jesus.

I thank you for Your lovingkindness and faithfulness.

Forgive my sins, in the name of Jesus, we pray.

AMEN

THE LORDS PRAYER

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.

Amen.

Psalm One Meditation

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Lord, I thank You for your Word. In all my walking, may I walk in Your counsel Lord. In all my mediations, may I meditate in Your law. And in all my fruit bearing, may I be planted by the rivers of Your waters. AMEN

Lord, help me to walk in Your counsel. Let my delight be in Your Law. Help me to meditate and to do this day and night. Father plant me like a tree in the rivers of water so that I can bring forth fruit in my seasons. Let me not whither and let all I do prosper. AMEN

Read Psalm 1 again and see if any words resonate with you.

What does it mean to be blessed and what does the word counsel mean to you?
To me, being blessed means favour, grace and mercy and the word counsel means to be taught with wisdom and to be guided with understanding.

Let think about verse 2- what does it mean to delight in the law of the Lord? Is it to read His word, is it to do His will joyfully, is it to understand the ways of the Lord? What does it mean to delight in the law of the Lord? Or is meditating day and night the first step?

Let’s look at verse 3

Heavenly father Lord, let me be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season and let my root wither and let all that I do prosper. Let repeat verse three times.

1ST TIME “ And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”

This time add I- personalise it to you And I shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in her season; her leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever I doeth shall prosper.

Finally, add your name And Hannah shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth her fruit in her season; Hannah’s leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever Hannah doeth shall prosper.

Final Prayer

Father whatever ungodly things I do in my life, please cleanse me from it and let Your Grace and Mercy transform me. let me be like the righteous. I commit all my ways into Your hands Lord so that you know them Lord and, let it be the ways of the righteous. In Jesus name, we pray.

4 Bullet Journal Tips for Beginners: How To Start A Bullet Journal +BuJo Spread Ideas

4 Bullet Journal Tips for Beginners: How To Start A Bullet Journal +BuJo Spread Ideas

What is Bullet Journalling?

Bullet Journalling is a fun, therapeutic way to customise how you organise your time and interests. For those who do not know, it is a diary/ journal that you build for yourself using your own unique themes and keys.

What do you need for Bullet Journalling?

To start a bullet journal, you need a journal, this is usually dotted or plain though some people use lined journals. Along with this blank journal, you will also need some pens, markers and colouring pencils.

4 Bullet Journal Tips

1. Get Inspiration
Watch YouTube videos and use the internet for inspiration and drawing tips. If you’re not too creative or prefer function over style, use stencils and adapt what you have observed to create the right spreads for you.
2. Personalise
Create bullet journals that reflect your day to day activities, helps track your goals and matches your personality and needs. This will increase your usage and genuinely help you organise.
3. Perfectionism
It is easier said than done but avoid perfectionism and panicking about the layout, neatness and focus on the the functionality aspect of the bullet journal.
4. Enjoy and have fun
Focus on enjoying the process and working towards developing new skills such as organisation, creativity and a commitment to personal development

Bullet Journal Spreads (One)-April 2020

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Bullet Journal Spreads (Two)



LAST YEAR- JULY
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Bullet Journal Spreads (Three)

LAST YEAR- JUNE
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The Art of Happiness (How to be Happy)

The Art of Happiness (How to be Happy)

We choose to be happy when we confront the sources of our unhappiness.

There is always a negative connotation attached to unhappiness. Yet, unhappiness that warrants reflection can often lead to change. Does that mean that unhappiness can be changed always? Not neccessarily, however, the mindset can be transformed. The secret to transforming your mindset resides in the acronym of happiness. Here is how to use ‘HAPPINESS’ to overcome unhappiness.

(H)umility

Humility is important in happiness because if you’re humble enough, it is likely that you are grateful enough. When you are grateful with your circumstances then you become happy with your situation.

Example: I am humbled by the fact that I have my life, many died this year but i still have the life and a chance to live. so i choose to be happy in my current situations.

(A)ssertiveness

Assertiveness is the art of not accepting the situations or things which makes you or others uncomfortable. Assertive people are happy because they can pick and choose what makes them happy and create the boundaries against unhappiness.

Example: I do certain things when i’m sad , to overcome this bad trait or habit, i choose to be assertive and place boundaries.

(P)assion

We all have our passions- the things we like and love, hobbies and interests and the things we are good at. Sometimes, the art of happiness rests in doing the things we love whether that is baking, dancing, sewing, singing or otherwise.

(P)urpose

We are all have a purpose. That one or multiple things we are called to do. If we spend time discovering our purpose and working on the tools we need to achieve our purpose, then that can make us, others and the people we meet happy.

(I)ntegrity

Sometimes, we feel unhappy because we are doing the wrong things. The choices of our actions makes us feel bad. For instance, if I lie all the time, I start to feel guilty about lying and that guilt makes me unhappy. Be a person with integrity and sometimes the goodness of integrity allows you to be happy.

(N)eglect

Sometimes, we feel unhappy because neglect our selves, This can be our health, our wellbeing, ourselves and the things that matter to us the most. When you make a conscious effort to look after yourself, then happiness also radiates with you.

(N)eed

Deciding what you need and want is a good start to discovering your happiness. You need a balance between the two- it is not a good idea to always focus on your needs even though it is hard when you need things and to always live in want makes you insatiable. Though easier said than done, focusing on wants and needs distracts you from choosing to be happy now.

(E)ffervescence

Sometimes, choosing to be happy means you need to radiate effervescence. This means stop frowning, smile, laugh and enjoy. Choosing to be a radiant and lovely person to be around and doing things on purpose that makes you effervescent can often make you happy as well.

(S)ilence

Silence negative, terrible or unhappy thoughts. This can be through meditation, quiet times, repeating words of encouragement to yourself and believing the good, pure and noble thoughts.

(S)upervise

Monitoring your happiness can also be good for your wellbeing. Identify days that have made you happy and figure out what happened that day that made you so happy.  Look back on those days, weeks, months or even years in a journal, scrapbook, notes or conversation.

happiness is a seed, plant its bud and water it with love and watch it bloom.

Hannah Williams

Black Sheep (Poetry)

Black Sheep (Poetry)

WORDS:
clearing out the truths in my closet
i find another.
amidst the chaos and the calm,
there drapes the dark woollen coat.
persistently promising to always be in vogue.
its length smiles at my older self
its warmth laughs at my latter days
its style larks at the former self
its size beams in my early age
telling me its elegance is grasped
at a certain stage.
yet we are sheared
from the same black sheep.
spun from the same yarn.
cut from the same cloth. Continue reading “Black Sheep (Poetry)”

Ask (Poetry)

Ask (Poetry)

WORDS:

she asks herself and asks again. as her voice breaks like floral porcelains, she picks up the pieces. it hurts, it takes time. for the little pieces perforates and sinks into the hands like the painful memories. there she pulls the shards and plaster the wound. silence reminds her that she has been here before and how the plates has a habit of wilting on the kitchen floor.

Continue reading “Ask (Poetry)”

Arson (Poetry)

Arson (Poetry)
 

WORDS:
at the dark red dusk, the monsoon flooded
raining kerosene and paraffin
trickles of oil lashed like lightning
leaving imprint on wooden windows
the flames upraising like an anthem
and we asked our bloodshot eyes to stop chanting
with smoke engraved in our parched coughing
we watch the arid commodities burn with the heat.
red spices and brown sugar turn to black ash
no matches, no lighters but lulled flames
the black ash swallowing red sand and brown water.
the insatiable wild fire left us no choice
but to watch its blaze soothe our wounds
neighbours whisper like the cackling fire.
omitting the etymology of the flames.
at the dark red dusk, the monsoon flooded
raining kerosene and paraffin
and once it swallowed the house
the desertion of debris and black ashes
heaved like the husks of mangoes.

Continue reading “Arson (Poetry)”

Poetry Analysis: When We Two Parted by Lord Bryon (1788–1824)

Poetry Analysis: When We Two Parted by Lord Bryon (1788–1824)

Poem

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow –
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell in mine ear;
A shudder comes o’er me –
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well –
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met –
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee? –
With silence and tears.

Analysis

When We Two Parted is a poem exploring heartbreak. Whilst this emotion is usually disorientating, this poem precludes the structure. Instead, it is written in four stanza’s with eight lines each, perhaps to reflect the duration of the relationship as Byron writes ‘after long years’. This line could also be representative of the long years it takes for the writer to overcome his ‘broken-hearted’(ness)

Continue reading “Poetry Analysis: When We Two Parted by Lord Bryon (1788–1824)”

Lesson From A Paper Crane (Poetry)

Lesson From A Paper Crane (Poetry)
 

WORDS:

Examine the flailing weeks fold itself like paper;
as it cuts the days, tucks in the minutes and creases the seconds.
cocooning into an origami of the things it strives for
till it calls into the calmest crane.
forgetting a thousand cranes brings luck
but this one is troubled; creased by a thousand
yet it doesn’t sink in its despondence

Continue reading “Lesson From A Paper Crane (Poetry)”

A Simple Tool To Track Creative Writing Opportunities

A Simple Tool To Track Creative Writing Opportunities

This blog post will provide you with a free Excel worksheet that allows you to organise your creative opportunities in one place. You can see the status, deadline, priority, level of progress, requirements and notes all in one place. This fully functional worksheet is a free download.

This worksheet has four main tabs which are: the writing opportunities log, the completion rate tracker, difficulty and intensity tracker and performance tracker.

Continue reading “A Simple Tool To Track Creative Writing Opportunities”

Prose/Short Story: Goodbye Magazine By Hannah Williams

Prose/Short Story: Goodbye Magazine By Hannah Williams

****Trigger Warning: Contains themes of suicide****

We’ve been doing this for the past four years, ever since we read it in Goodbye magazine. It was the ‘7 Pacts You Should Make To Honour Your Friendship’ article which suggested that friends should allocate the time to see each other regularly. So, we decided that every last Saturday in the month will be used as our special time together.  We called it  ‘Operation Lienna’ inspired by the amalgamation of our names- Liam and Sienna. Liam organised mainly sports and cinema trips and I organised restaurant and open mic nights. I remember that one time we went to play Tennis and Liam was spotted by a scout but it turned out to be a scam. Oh, how I laughed at him. I mocked him till today which is bittersweet because he was so great at tennis and I always want to see him do well. But friendships are about banter and that’s why the two of us got on so well. We laugh at each other, with each other and for each other. If we didn’t have a sense of humour, where would this friendship be? I laugh away my pain and I know that Liam does the same. Until the day, I discovered that for one of us, our reality suggests otherwise.

Continue reading “Prose/Short Story: Goodbye Magazine By Hannah Williams”

The Heron Across The Black Lake (Poetry)

The Heron Across The Black Lake (Poetry)

i.
my word is a heron trying to swallow its fish
but the bare bones spike against the bitter bills.
across the hill over the black lake
drowns the words that i cannot say.

ii.
so i find solace in echoes of the sky
but do not seek the lineage call
for the clouds swallow softly
when they bellow into new form.

Continue reading “The Heron Across The Black Lake (Poetry)”

3 AM (Poetry)

3 AM (Poetry)

WORDS:

at 3.am the news wades
on the white Calla- lily porch
each held breath prays
probing for the serenity
of the things that yesterday cannot change.

the opulent ivory door laments
for the two pulsating hearts
denying rational thoughts
as silence slays the hope
of going back to sleep whole.

no longer wading
its presence satiates the room
and consciously it slices the truth
leaving scratches on the marble tops
with residues of tea in the porcelain cups

Continue reading “3 AM (Poetry)”

How to Start a Skincare Routine: ft Procoal London | AD

How to Start a Skincare Routine: ft Procoal London | AD

Investing in my skin used to be something I thought of as vain or shallow, not because of the benefits and the healthiness of the skin but because of the ways products are promoted to make us feel younger and prettier. It wasn’t until recently that I started to see skincare as part of wellbeing. Another aspect of this was that I didn’t know where to start or which products would work for my skin. If you are thinking about embarking on a journey for affordable skincare regimen. Here are five essential types of products that you can try in order to look after your skin:

1. Facial Scrub

 

This scrub can be used by men or women. For me personally, it exfoliates well and allows me to cleanse my face quickly and efficiently. I like the minty smell and doesn’t require too much as it exfoliate my dry skin. However it can be used for any skin types. It includes ingredients such as Calendula Oil, Allantoin and Activated Charcoal.

2. Cleanser

A good cleanser will leave your face feeling smooth and clear. I like to use my exfoliator brush to scrub my face then rinse it off with warm water.

3. Toner

I use a liquid toner by pouring small amounts onto a cotton wool pads and cleaning around my face and neck to achieve clearer skin.

Continue reading “How to Start a Skincare Routine: ft Procoal London | AD”

Book Review: In Search of Equilibrium by Theresa Lola

Book Review: In Search of Equilibrium by Theresa Lola

Theresa Lola’s effortless ability to weave family and faith and explore the nexus of the familiar and distant in the Nigerian culture makes this collection one that I can resonate with .

In Search of Equilibrium transpires its names from an almost circle-of-life likeness where when one life passes on,  another is ‘wailed’ into existence. The essence is capture in the ‘Equilibrium’ piece where Lola recollects her grandfather forgetting his name as her new born brother was ‘crowned with a name’.

This collection details very poignant and personal pieces on the heartbreaking impact and effects of Alzheimers. Lola paints the reality and starkness of the condition by taking us on a journey of her reality as she celebrates and remembers the life of her grandfather to his death and how she copes with it. Continue reading “Book Review: In Search of Equilibrium by Theresa Lola”

An Analysis of Maps by Doug Hoekstra

An Analysis of Maps by Doug Hoekstra

Carrying maps we move
through battlegrounds and trails,
roadways, displays and
museums built of alabaster
on swamps in cities marked with
European names

Following blue lines, red circles
street signs and highway markers
compass points and scale
measuring distance between places
and distant constellations
that will one day disappear

Slipping into another form
catching glimpses of the future
cherished and held in
our collective past, pressed
between magnetic pages
reframed and then…reclaimed

Pulling on my sleeve, he’s
always looking up, always,
even when I lose my way
in all cardinal directions
and happen upon a clearing
beyond my imagination

Where lightning grows quiet and
waterfalls rise and
colors disguise and
the reversal of time
senseless with meaning
–– perfectly cast together

Analysis

Stanza One

Maps is a poetry in which I believe is a metaphor for a journey which is the purpose of a map- to help navigate people from their current location to their destination. Initially it takes us through battlegrounds and trails which is a juxtaposition. This juxtaposition is contrasted to be active and passive. Then, the adventure softens up through the third line of ‘roadways, displays and museums built of alabaster’ This soft imagery of beauty is stark in the sense that the write lets us know that it is built on swamps. This is a poignant metaphor with historical connotations. Since the battleground signifies war, and alabaster signifies the archaic and we know that these cities have ‘European Names’. We can then infer that this journey is a walk through history.

Stanza Two

The next stanza is a walk in the present. We can infer this through the use of the neutral and simple descriptions. The red and blue lines are centred around public transport maps such as train stations and subways. In the fourth, fifth and sixth line of the poem, we know that this person yearns for something more. The line ‘measuring distance between places and distant constellations that will one day disappear’. It highlights that this person is a day dreamer comparing his gaze to something that is far away.

Stanza Three

The third stanza embodies the message of the poem. The ‘slipping into another form’ phrase highlights the variety of maps . The phrase catching glimpses into the future suggests that maps are for places we haven’t been yet. Hence the catching glimpses of the future. It is evident that we are unaware of it. This is then contrasted with the past places we have been and treasured so that we’ve pressed the magnetic pages, reframed and reclaimed it.

Stanza Four and Five

The penulitmate and final stanza gets personal. We get a sense of youth or someone young. This is infered through the line which states that the person is short enouhgh to pull on the subject sleeve and is always looking up. More importantly, it seems to be something similar to a promise. It states that the should the subject ever lose way and reach a place (clearing) beyond imagination.

In essence, the journey will fit perfectly together in a place where lightening grows quiet, waterfalls rise and colors disguise and there is a reversal of time. This can be looked at in two ways:

a) Positively: Through an idyllic nature-centred lens
b) Negatively: The journey becomes a place where what is hoped and imagined is contradictory.

So this begs the question of whether the map is a journey of the past, present and future?

What do you think the map signifies?

Thank you for reading!

How to Use Your Phone to Save Time and Make the Most Out of Your Productivity

How to Use Your Phone to Save Time and Make the Most Out of Your Productivity

For some people, smartphones are more like a distraction than a blessing. If you are running a business, you might find yourself trying to update your social media accounts and spending hours every day viewing videos that are not even related to your industry. There are, however, some positive aspects of using smartphones and technology on the go that can improve your personal productivity and save you time. Find out more about them below.

Continue reading “How to Use Your Phone to Save Time and Make the Most Out of Your Productivity”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty Five: For Me by Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty Five: For Me by Hannah Williams

if i could change a thought
and have clarity transparent like a brook
i would think for me.

if i could contemplate a dream
and have a labour that dawns it into reality
i would dream for me.

if i could say a word
and have courage that never relents
i would speak for me.

if i could sing a song
and have a melody etched on the echoes of my voice
i would sing for me.

if i could plea a prayer
and have a request rise high above the mountains that faith could move
i would pray for me.

if i could walk a path
and have steps that wisdom coordinated
i would walk for me.

if i could change the world
and have a solution serenading the problems
i would change for me.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty Four: A Land of Honey and Milk by Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty Four: A Land of Honey and Milk by Hannah Williams

a silhouette
shawled in titanium
with footsteps soft as silk.
a graceless poise
pierces the back
promising a land of
honey and milk

a shadow
tattered in light
with sight dark as void
a sinister compassionate
misled the feet
promising a land
of honey and milk

a shape
stirred in sorrow
with tears dripping as rain
a cheerful gloom
clasped the heart
promising a land
of honey and milk,
again.

An Analysis of ‘On the Black Canal’ by Helen Tookey

An Analysis of ‘On the Black Canal’ by Helen Tookey

Your boat is moored on the black canal
and the woman is playing the cello for you,

long low notes the colour of crows’ wings.
You are a sound-box, air vibrates inside your bones

as each note elongates, a dark expanse –
are you under her protection, or is it a baffle

she draws around you, words becoming lost
in the rasp of bow against wire, your skull

full of overtones. Where were you trying to go that day
as you crossed the fields when the planes came,

droning low, forcing you down with the weight
of the sound in your head – you lay it seemed

for hours, pressed to the earth, unable to move
till the sound cleared, the weight eased

from your bones and you ran, away from
the terror of air, the fields’ aphasic spaces.

Where were you going? You can’t remember, and now
you’re moored in the long box of your boat, and the woman

is playing the cello for you, the sound closing
over your head like black water, like crows’ wings.

Poets, Various. The Forward Book of Poetry 2019 (Kindle Locations 1714-1729). Forward Arts Foundation. Kindle Edition.

Analysis

On the Black Canal can be interpreted to be about a myriad of different things. To me, I believe it is a piece that represents death but on the first glance, I thought it was about depression and the negative feelings of sorrow.

In the introduction which states ‘Your boat is moored on the black canal’ acts as a metaphor for a coffin that is anchored like a boat in the canal. The word moored emphasises the boat imagery but to reinforce the funeral ambience we are introduced to a woman playing the cello for the deceased.

How do we know that the person in this piece is deceased?

Continue reading “An Analysis of ‘On the Black Canal’ by Helen Tookey”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty Three-Journey By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty Three-Journey By Hannah Williams

When the sight glazed across the journey, the lips let out a prayer so swift like the years of the youth.

The feet walks casually imprinting its mark.

Yet, no one remembers the hand that adorned the feet  nor the language that taught it how to walk.

An inscription stronger than titanium and more permanent than destiny.

Even when it detours to a space more temporary, the wind cannot lift away lift its particles.

May the footsteps be revered as much as where it stands.

Wherever the mind leads the feet, may it say it knew where it wanted to go.

Mind, Body and Soul: A Brief Guide to Self Care

Mind, Body and Soul: A Brief Guide to Self Care

The mind, body and soul are key areas of focus when it comes to self care. This is because they intersect. I find self-care to be an important message that people need to remind themselves each day. It cannot be shared enough. I see a lot of inspirational content on Instagram, Twitter and even here on lifestyle blogs that are very moving and it makes me happy to see people appreciate who they are and how they can be even greater! One thing I would like to dispel is that self care is not just about losing weight or dieting or even drinking slimming tea (thank God!).

To me, self care can be defined as:

The condition of loving yourself so much that you choose not to compromise your health and wellbeing.

Here are seven ways in which you can actively practise self care: Continue reading “Mind, Body and Soul: A Brief Guide to Self Care”

Book Review: Eye Level by Jenny Xie

Book Review: Eye Level by Jenny Xie

Eye Level is a short poetry collection written by Jenny Xie published this year. When reading any poetry collection, I am always curious to find out how the title formalised and look for links between the poetry and the title. This intersection was revealed in the poem Ongoing which states “She had trained herself to look for answers at eye level, but they were lower, they were changing all the time’ 

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE TITLE?

The title is very simple yet metaphorical. To me, eye level means seeing the ordinary and not actively looking to see the deeper meaning. It embodies the readers perception on subject matters of the poems which are open and metaphorical but to the reader, they also have the choice to see the semantics or read the piece at ‘eye level.’ or even both!

Continue reading “Book Review: Eye Level by Jenny Xie”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty Two-Lament By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty Two-Lament By Hannah Williams

building hands bristled and bruised turns heaviness into light
and the ugly tears streaming from the broken but beautiful hearts
ask the fragmented hope to forget thy not and rejoice to remember thee
not as a song, not as prayer but it rises in that similitude
above the firmament and encircling the sky
it asks the clouds to lament but not weep.
because our tears rise high and the pain never numbs
this is how it feels to lose the one we thought would overcome.

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty One-Chandelier By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty One-Chandelier By Hannah Williams

When emotions are excessive and the mind cannot cope.  Close the eyes and imagine each strand. Dangling like chandelier pieces. A glistening ray of hope beacons. A festivity of light dances in the mind. Hold the light. Hold the hope. Let it fizzle the fear. Can you hear the crystals chorus and the diamond note. Each time you feel the fear, close your eyes and hang each feeling on the chandelier.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty- Daughter Of A Yellow Sun By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifty- Daughter Of A Yellow Sun By Hannah Williams

The shards of bottles and debris on the road sinks into the bare feet. The crimson liquid trickles upward. The scarlet paints on the clear canvas of the skin, forming across the ankle a cerise daisy chain. When the red soil sticks to skin, the potency of the sun burns the cut deep within. With the rhythm of discomfort, the steps begin to synchronise. To adjust the afflictions, carry the shadow on your back throughout the journey. With seven songs away from surrender, find the reservoir for eight and learn the wind’s symphony. Amidst this, find a vitality so vivacious that the fragmented mountains makes way for the sunlight. Then find simplicity so easy that causes the river to mirror the silhouette of every sunset and sunrise. Above it all, the horizon over the lily-white sky promises to soak in the splendour of the shine.  You are no longer the wanderlust light, you are the daughter of a yellow sun.

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Nine- Frown Lines

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Nine- Frown Lines

When the voice was stolen and she could sing no more, the frown formed and the lines found solace on her face. In her silence, it defended her. A world where hostility determines if you’re victimised and she’d rather be the victor. So she put it on each morning. After all, you cannot report expressions but you can recall words. Yet we all know that frowning is not precaution and smiling is not softness. If only she didn’t hold onto yesterday’s worries which are drawing the outline of tomorrow. The scowl she wears wouldn’t be a testament of her sorrow.

 

 

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Eight- Why Did You Follow Me?

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Eight- Why Did You Follow Me?

Before deciding to walk in her shoes let her show you her feet. The callous blisters tarnished by the stones who decided to dance on her soles. Yet she walking barefoot across the equator with the red soil tarnishing the pigments of her skin. When she crossed the ocean, borders poured cold water which began to sting. The earth became her shroud covering her in the dust. Like the temperature of the desert, she was scorching like the sun. When her tired eyes saw peace, she ran to towards the mirage only to find illusions are the mirrors to the mind. When the fisherman boat waded by the shore, she became the destiny that wanted more. For herself and for her dreams. A damsel determined to stay afloat. A journey across her dreams beyond what she ever wrote. Yet dreams capsize on that solemn day. Her spirit left her essence and it soared far away. When the morning swallow danced over the scene, her body asked the earth why did you follow me?

What Origami Taught Me

What Origami Taught Me

To the sceptic, origami is folding paper. To the rational, origami is full of instructions. To the idealist, origami is a movement. But to the creative, origami is the vision that is created by diligent hands. – Hannah Williams

This Thursday, I had the opportunity to participate in an Origami class hosted by Toshiko called the Happy Origami Wonderland. This experience was sponsored by Indytute which is an online platform allowing you to purchase experiences such as origami classes as gifts that you and your loved ones can participate in.

Now, I went into this class completely oblivious to how difficult origami can be. However, it was fine because most people in the class were beginners just like me. The class is a two person experience so my sister came along and we had fun bonding together over this workshop.

Before I delve into what I learnt in the class, I would like to take a moment to appreciate the culture of the art-form by pointing out what I learnt about origami:

  1. I understood the meaning behind the crane as a symbol of hope. In fact, one thousand cranes was the exact number in the Japanese culture.
  2. There is a specialist origami paper which is much softer.
  3. Origami can be therapeutic. There is also mindfulness origami in which the tutor also specialises in.

In addition to learning about the culture and history of origami, I also learnt about myself from taking this class. Here is what I learnt:

  1. Be a doer and not a watcher: I noticed that because I was anxious, I began watching rather than doing which in turn made it difficult for me to keep up. So after being helped by the wonderful teacher, I was able to get back on track with the class.
  2. Practice:  When I completed the final piece of the flying crane and it looked fine, I settled for that and didn’t push myself to try again or even practise/ perfect what I have already made. This is a completely complacent attitude and to get the full experience, it was important that I personally try to practise and not leave what I learnt at the workshop.
  3. Ask for help: Don’t be embarrassed to ask others and the instructor for help. It can be simple questions but as long as it needs answering they are VERY valid.

Overall, origami is an activity that requires the ability to listen carefully, follow instructions and solve problems through intuition, common sense and even to some extent team work especially in a group.

Here are the pictures of the Crane and the Japanese Maple Leaf made in the class

 

Origami Gif
Here is a GIF of my patterned origami crane (bird). It actually flies!

For more information on this Origami class or other available workshops, please feel free to visit:

Website: Indytute

Twitter: The Indytute

Also, check out the instructor Happy Origami Wonderland on Twitter and Instagram for class information and lovely origami creations!

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Seven: Echoes By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Seven: Echoes By Hannah Williams

As the television transmits the news unable to peel the callous layers of her mind.
She owns a seared conscience which no longer flinch at the vivid violent paintings on her screen.

When the hunger of little children hums- she no longer feels guilty.
When the injustice harmonises with the defenceless- it no longer warrants her pity.
When death sings over nations- she no longer feels sadness.
When corruption chants dishonestly- she no longer calls it madness.

Echoes whispers
the equator set the precedence

As the smartphone announces itself by vibrating to alert her of the notifications.
She owns a conscience willing to bloom on social media where she becomes an
advocate for the ones she cared not.

Echoes whisper
the tweets set the precedence.

How do you tell her she owes the world nothing?
In silence or in deed, the world goes on.

Echoes whisper
the discontentment set the precedence.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Six: There Will Always Be A Rainbow By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Six: There Will Always Be A Rainbow By Hannah Williams

A rainbow formed after the raindrops and the sunlight kissed the vapour.

Melting the chaos and illuminating the future.

A reminder that when the storm becomes frightening and the sky thunders with lightning and the rays no longer shining and my fears become frightening.

There will always be a rainbow.

A rainbow formed after the raindrops  where the sunlight kissed the vapour.

Melting the chaos and illuminating the future.

There will always be a rainbow.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Five: No Longer Collecting Thank You By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Five: No Longer Collecting Thank You By Hannah Williams

I am collecting all the thank you I have ever received. I’m gathering them up to burn it and have it cremated. From here on hence, I don’t use them anymore. Or rather I’m not allowing people to use it on me.  I have crossed the ocean for you and seared my feet amongst volcanoes. If the extra mile was required, I have traveled to space. Should you require a coat, I have bought you the winter collection. Yet, all I earned was your thank you. If you bought me a card, even worse, you took the time to reflect on everything I did for you and condense the worth into a fragment of the trees. Now you’re just taking oxygen away from me. I have too much thank you from being passive when I thought I was kind. If thank you was a sword, I have been stabbed in the back too many a-time. Its just words you pluck and you don’t mean it true. Your thank you are formalities and not because of what I do. Or rather what I did. I’m leaving you alone to wallow in your so-called politeness. When you’re done with the eyeservice take the ‘you are not welcome’ as my kind-heartedness .

 

 

 

 

Prose/Short Story: Too Late By Hannah Williams (Microfiction)

Prose/Short Story: Too Late By Hannah Williams (Microfiction)

When memories become distant, the mind strives to hold onto whatever remains. Yet, I was determined not to forget. Especially when I began to think and dream about her. I saw her frail, distant and almost elusive. But still, I was conflicted by the thought of how she could live a life without me. Why hasn’t she got in touch? Was I not important enough? Perhaps she was my dream and I was her reality. Or dare I say her nightmare? Being told about someone is different to actually meeting them. I appreciated the discussions of her but telling is far lesser than seeing. And I had to see. So I took a ten hour plane journey, five hour drive and  one boat ride later  to the other side of the town, we finally got there. Only to be greeted by her body sleeping in eternity. A journey made to to rekindle the union of maternity only to find out that somedays taking to long to get ready can be too late.  It became a moment that I had to leave in the hands of fate.

Book Review: Don’t Call Us Dead By Danez Smith

Book Review: Don’t  Call Us Dead By Danez Smith

Don’t Call Us Dead is a poetry collection which I found quite heavy to read due to the depth and intensity of the topics. It varies from a range of issues such as the police brutality, what it means to be black in America and discusses the endemic of HIV.

What do you think of the title?

The title is cemented in the first poem summer, somewhere which states ‘please, don’t call us dead, call us alive someplace better.’  This summarises the political climate of what it means to be black in America.  To simply put it,  I believe the title is a juxtaposition or a bitter-sweet comparison exploring the contrast of death and life. Continue reading “Book Review: Don’t Call Us Dead By Danez Smith”

An Analysis of Bitter Waters Translated By Shash Trevett

An Analysis of Bitter Waters Translated By Shash Trevett
Bitter Waters (Translated by Shash Trevett)

See these lines on my upturned palm.

They are the rivers of tears
that have washed my face.

They are the rivers of blood
that have washed my land.

Flowing first in trickles, then streams
and then in torrents:

they are the swells of voices
that have cried out our shame.

They are the swell of voices
that have cried out our shame.

They lie etched on my skin,
coursing through the creases and ridges

to pool into stories and tales.

I shall tell if these
for the generations to come.

See these hands all twisted and bent. 

These are the scars I bear 
instead of children.

O Motherland, look not to me
 for your warrior.

Bitter Waters exudes the themes of conflicts, bloodshed and some form of political instability.

Form
This poem is written as a free-verse to reflect the overflow of emotions almost like water. There are no rhymes which reflects the intensity and seriousness of the poem. The free-verse can also be reflections of chaos where the events or conflict reigns without amendments of order or justice.

Imagery
The line ‘see the lines in my upturned palm’ almost embodies the meander of a river which is very easy to imagine should you look at your palm. The line ‘ They are rivers of tears’ that have washed my face’ consolidates the imagery of water. This is further intensified by ‘They are rivers of blood that have washed my land’  The imagery of water continues with the phrases ‘tickle’, ‘speech’ and then ‘torrents’ to illustrate the build of chaos and the intensity of the issue. Then we are left with the final water imagery where voices pools into stories and tales.

Final Thoughts
The final line ‘O Motherland, look not to me for your warrior’. I like this line because its powerful. I say powerful because the writers tells the motherland not to expect fighting, strength, ardour or even patriotism.

Why I Write Haikus?

Why I Write Haikus?

Writing haikus has been a simple yet complex process because I am aware that the English form of haikus is very different to what constitutes as a haiku in Japan. This is because sentence structures and syllables are quite different in these two cultures. Yet, the universal essence of nature as the topic of an haiku inspired my haiku album ‘What Nature Said’. In this blog post, I explore my creative process and provide samples to the album so here goes.

What is ‘What Nature Said About?”

What Nature Said is an eighteen track haiku album which explores the literal and metaphysical aspects of nature.

Why did you write ‘What Nature Said?’

I wrote ‘What Nature Said’ because I find writing haiku’s therapeutic and enjoyed the creative process of writing. I have always appreciated haiku and enjoy writing haikus in a way that is personal yet enjoyable to me. The passion I had for writing these pieces is what inspired the project.

What did you enjoy the most about the ‘What Nature Said?

I enjoyed the creative process of writing, recording and producing this album all by myself. It really allowed me to develop life skills such as decision making, creative skills such as recording and editing and career/ business skills such as marketing.  Yet, I will never stop learning even after this haiku album.

Can we get some snippets?

Yes. Below are three samples of my haiku pieces along with the lyrics:

Poverty

A hand that never 
labour. Yet clings to prayer, 
asks for starvation.
On Dreams And Memories
A lucid mirage 
Faint elusive memories 
Reason redundant.

Where can we find out more?

Please head over to Bandcamp for more information.

 

What Nature Said- A Collection of Short Haikus by Hannah Williams (Audio Version)

‘What Nature Said’ is a short collection of audio haikus written, produced and created by Hannah Williams. Each piece explores the various facets of nature on a literal, metaphorical and metaphysical sense. ‘Cherry Blossom’ explores the vivid imagery of colour whilst ‘Lavender’ explores the intersection of plants and healing. ‘Daisy Chains’ is a playful piece exploring naivety and simplicity of the youth.Other eclectic’ pieces includes: ‘Grass’ ‘Autumn’ ’Rain’, ‘Sunrise’, ‘Seaside’ ‘Waterfall’ ‘Silver Lining’, and ‘Flames’. The more poignant pieces are ‘Soil’, ‘Language’ and ‘Speech’ centred to reflect the political state of land and linguistics. Then of course, the musings on books in ‘A Potential Wasted’ and perception of destitution in ‘Poverty’ as well as the conflict between reality and imagination in the piece ‘On Dreams and Visions’. Overall, this collection is bound to make you ponder and bring you closer to nature with its relaxing sounds, soft meditative tone and soothing lyrics.

£0.99

Please feel free to share, comment or let me know what you think?

Thank you for reading!

An Analysis of ‘The Silver Swan’ by Anon

An Analysis of ‘The Silver Swan’ by Anon
The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approached unlocked her silent throat,
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more:
Farewell all joys, O death come close mine eyes,
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.
                                                                                                                   Anon

‘The Silver Swan’ is almost a metaphorical poem which explores the themes of beauty, elegance, death, pride, fear and arrogance. In fact, we can substitute each of these themes as the subject of the poem and it would still be applicable and relevant. These are some of the key lessons I got from the poem:

  • Elegance, beauty or attractiveness doesn’t alway equal intelligence.
  • Death shouldn’t be the point of regret or courage or even bravery. It should be done in life.
  • Pride and arrogance can be rooted in no substance or talent. Almost an aesthetic rather than functionality.

Poetic Techniques

Oxymoron: In the first line, we have the word ‘living’ which is contrasted with death in the second line.

Contrast: In line four, we have the words ‘first and last’ in the same line which even extends further to ‘no more’. This illustrates the stages,  phases or rites of passage that the swan embarked on. Likewise, the strong comparison between geese and swans complements the line fools than wise.

My Reflection On The Piece

There are various lines which prompts questions and deep thought. For instance the line:

When death approached unlocked her silent throat

This emphasises a lesson (if you will) that on the verge of death shouldn’t be when you say/do the things that you have always wanted to do.

Another line which raises questions is:

Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more:

This begs the questions of why didn’t she sing before? Was it pride? Did she think she was too elegant to sing? I believe it could be a combination of different things such as fear, realisation or even a form of epiphany.

Please comment below on what you think the swan is a metaphor for?

Thank you for reading!

 

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Four: Of Who We Are By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Four: Of Who We Are By Hannah Williams

What do you say to me?
When you’re done selling broken dreams?
Whilst tears fall down my cheeks like bitter streams.
In my search to redeem what could not be fixed.
Instead of the tepid truth,
You make promises on rainbows that didn’t form after the rain.
Your deception got me dancing on clouds.
It got me wishing on stars.
My reality reaching towards some distant planet- perhaps mars.
Your deception took us that far.
Instead of revelling on the authenticity of who we are.

 

 

Prose/Short Story: Red Soil (Micro Fiction)

Prose/Short Story: Red Soil (Micro Fiction)



The footpath leading to the lake where she walked barefoot with the 
red soil discolouring her bronze skin. 
As the dust rises, she hopes to emerge as its daughter waiting to be 
uplifted by the wind. 
She looked back at her footsteps imprinted in the sand wondering 
if her ancestors had embossed their footprints too. 
A misbegotten music feeling alone and unloved wondering 
why she is different.
This is what nobody told her. 
Twelve years ago, under the winter moonlight, 
when the butterfly wings were clipped.
 The darkness hummed and its tune was conception. 
Nine months later, by the sugarcane flux, Kisse squatted over 
pushing to give birth.

Prose/Short Story: The Telling Gaze Of A Caged Bird

Prose/Short Story: The Telling Gaze Of A Caged Bird

Solitary is bitter to starving souls searching for freedom but freedom is what I have always dreamt of. A world where I can sing with the wind and join the chorus of flocking birds singing in the dawn. A life far greater than being a caged bird. I am having the serenity to accept the things I cannot say. I am hoping the Jones will do the same. They tell me too much. In this countryside manor by the lake, there are five caged birds and I’m just one of them. The other four share surnames and are species of the same.

Monday

At 7.45pm Mr. Jones sits in the library watching me in the corner of the room next to loud oak clock. I find solace in the corner as I’m shielded from his jokes whilst he sips on rum and coke. Infused with whisky breath and just when he runs out of punchlines, he confesses by proceeding to tell me his job is clinging on a prayer. Oil is just not as lucrative as it was. Volatility is the thief of riches. I couldn’t help but see, a man who nursed his wounds and numbed his soul with alcohol. He leaves at 9.30pm that Monday.

Tuesday

Mrs. Jones comes back from the local brunch at 2pm dressed in the polka dot dress and black stilettos. she rearranges the flowers in the room. Now all she ever does is decorate. She used to work in the city and now settles for a life in the countryside. I saw the fear in her eyes when she cleaned my cage. She told me caged birds are safe. Perhaps that’s why she never left because she felt safe here.

Wednesday

Thomas Jones came today in search of a law book. He is falling his Tort module. He practices daily on the same speech. How he doesn’t want to seem ungrateful nor cruel. He didn’t really want to go into law school. I saw the tears he holds back just on the fact that he cannot talk to his dad. Then he looks across the window and see his fort. How the adventures outside bought him joy.

Thursday

Kimberly Jones feeds me treats. She’s kind, patient and sweet. I like that she always acknowledges me. She reads to me her favourite books verbatim. I get on with her the most. I’ll never forget the day she sang to me and I couldn’t help but sing too. Melodies melting the metaphysical. Yet, she has no friend at school. She asked me not to tell anyone. So, I won’t tell you too much. If only she felt comfortable enough to open to her parent.

Friday

All hell broke loose and the Jones got scorched. Mr. Jones lost his job at 10.25am. He came to the library to cry. Mrs Jones sat next to him telling him it is an opportunity and a blessing in disguise. All he could comprehend was the house, the car and the lifestyle. He shouted. She cried. I stayed silent pretending to sleep but I was the caged bird that knew everything.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Three: Imagine By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Three: Imagine By Hannah Williams

Imagine a garden
An elusive garden.

You walk past the willow tree
It reflects your silenced state.
Yet you do not cry nor smile.
You did that on your first visit.
I did both on my second.
This is together is our third.
The wind knows our names.
Yet it dares not trouble.
Petals fall beneath your feet.
With no reverence of them
You step solemnly.
With the shroud of your voice stripped.

Solemn sounds are now stolen.
I have seared your silence.

Across the wooden bridge
With an effervescent lake beneath.
I saw the bilingual beauty
Of flora and fauna coexisting.
So, I walked across,
Wading by the waters.
You could have warned me.
Yet I know, in a world with no words.
Actions design the fate.
I died in that lake.
Why did you take the bridge?

Imagine this open space
An elusive place.

Where the Bird of Elegance walks
Asking you to take one of its feathers.
Promising you it will give you a voice.
A voice that makes you speak up.
It is not about your accent or pace.
Nor about dialects and sociolects.
Rather a voice of your own.
Articulated in speech and tone.
Fanning out its feathers
Take one for your shroud.
Let your words walk like the Bird of Elegance.
Parade the prose like a peacock.

Which feather did you pluck?
What did it mean to you?

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Two- The Seed By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty Two- The Seed By Hannah Williams

A seed              seeking sunlight
swells and sweats. 
Through its seed coat. 
Shooting
taproot in the soil. 
Submerged    it pokes its head through 
the earth.
Until it blooms,
Soothed by the serene song of photosynthesis.  

 

The Children’s Society Writing Competition- What Does It Mean To Be Awkward?- (Character Ideas And Writing Prompts)

The Children’s Society Writing Competition- What Does It Mean To Be Awkward?- (Character Ideas And Writing Prompts)

The Children’s Society has launched a campaign known as Seriously Awkward.This competition seeks short stories inspired by the awkward stage most sixteen and seventeen years old experience.  But what exactly does it mean to be awkward? When I searched for the synonyms of awkward, the dictionary gave definitions such as difficult, stubborn and obstinate. These definitions are indeed wrong but it can often appear to society in this way leading to labels and stereotypes. One thing everyone including myself can be mindful of is looking at situations and people with a compassionate gaze irrespective of their ‘awkwardness’ or differences.

Here are three situations where the compassionate gaze can be practised:

SCENARIO ONE: SUSIE SMELLS
Susie attends school every day. This is not what her school classmates observe- what they notice is her smell. She doesn’t smell very fresh. Nobody knows why and they can never comprehend why she cannot attend to her hygiene.

Compassionate Gaze: Susie lives in abject poverty. A house with regular leaks, little or no hot water and an expensive gas bill which her parents struggle to pay due to their low incomes combined. Susie showers sporadically.

SCENARIO TWO: MYLIE THE MIGHTY
Mylie is a quiet girl. She can be quite moody and a little short-tempered. She bottles up her emotions too much and waits till she reaches a breaking point before she retaliates. Every day in the mathematics class, Joe keeps calling her names. One day, she decided to throw a stool at him out of anger.

Compassionate Gaze: Mylie has some anger issues triggered by domestic violence she sees her mother experiencing. She doesn’t tell anyone and keeps the pain hidden. Her anger builds. She  cannot afford therapy sessions and the mental health waiting list keeps growing making her wait longer.

SCENARIO THREE: MORGAN THE MISGUIDED
Morgan finds it difficult to integrate so when he found bad friends with whom he  became very loyal. A gullible young man thinking he has found a family and community.

Compassionate Gaze:Morgan lacks the guidance  he needs. His mother works night shifts struggling to pay the bills. So when the boys on the estate promises him an illegal  job which makes more money than his mother, he takes the risk with the potential that this illegal occupation could kill him either by the gunshot or the stabbing of a sharp knife. 

By no means are the compassionate gaze excuses or an absolute representation of what people in similar situations go through. These characters whom are purely fictional just offer us an insight into the lives of those experiencing the awkward stage. It is imperative to think with a gaze that sees the compassionate side of things which is better than formulating misconceptions. A little bit of a compassionate gaze makes the world a better place.

Please feel free to use these ideas as inspiration for your entries either as a piece of character development or perhaps the essence of your plot.

You can register to submit your entries here

Or submit your short story directly here.

Thank you very much for reading.

***This blog post is in partnership with the Children’s Society.

An Analysis Of ‘A Guest May Come’ By Vojka Djikic

An Analysis Of ‘A Guest May Come’ By Vojka Djikic

A Guest May Come by Vojka Djikic
(Translated by Chris Agee)

Hold on tight to me
And we’ll find the way home.
There the fire’s still burning
And in the corners
Book lie open
That ought to be read
And the garden’s there to dig
The roses to prune.
Thus it was said
When we mend the roof
And paint the red door red
A guest may come

When I was reading this piece, the biggest question that came to my mind is who could the ‘guest’ be? I gathered that it may be someone important because in certain traditions the host prepare the home when receiving a special guest by ensuring the house is clean. It seems that perhaps this is what is going on in this poem. However, on second reflection, the guest could be a season like Spring. The main giveaway to this is that roses are often pruned in spring in which is mentioned in the eighth line. This reinforces the interpretation that this piece could be about spring cleaning. Another farfetched interpretation is applying these words to death. When reading it from this view, it gives us a different perspective.

Poetic Techniques

No Rhyme
The use of rhyme is quite minimal in this piece although we get some rhyme with words like said and red. Nonetheless, the lack of rhyme helps the reader to take the poem more seriously.

No Punctuation
The lack of punctuation in this piece increases the pace and intensifies the issue. If read in this pace, then perhaps the reader can feel the pressure, anxiety and disorder the narrator faces.

Narrative
The narrative of this piece is quite active. It tells the reader what to do through sentences like ‘Hold on tight to me’ and ‘we’ll make the way home’. Then the piece goes on to list the things that needs to be done such as books in the corner that lie open but ‘ought to be read, ‘ a garden there to dig’, ‘roses to prune’,  ‘roof to mend’ and the quite humorous line  of ‘paint the red door red’. This narrative can even reflect a relationship where the wife is giving her husband a long list of chores just before the guest arrives.

I enjoy the various dimensions of interpretation this poem exudes and I hope you enjoyed reading my analysis. Thank you very much for your time!

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty One- Broken Tears By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty One- Broken Tears By Hannah Williams

A droplet of despair
Dripping from once-dried tear ducts.
Flowing frequently
A flimsy attempt to hold them
Piece it together
Patchwork the pain.
Sew it silently.
With the excess crochet it
Turn it into a commodity
Then sell the once broken tears to the tradesmen at the stall.
Tell them you’ve got an ocean you’ll be bringing in the fall.

 

Book Review: You Took The Last Bus Home by Brian Bilston

Book Review: You Took The Last Bus Home by Brian Bilston

This collection titled ‘You Took The Last Bus Home’ by Brian Bilston is a funny collection of poems. Although this style of humour is quite distinct. Its almost based on punch lines and borderline dry jokes/ mixed with office humour. Nonetheless, I found the irony and the goofiness of the poems amusing because it did make me laugh.

What was my favourite piece in the collection?

My favourite poem in the collection is ‘For We Shall Stare at Mobile Phones’ which light-heartedly focuses on the increase usage of mobile phones and its effects on ‘attractions’ that will ‘close’ due to the attention in which people pay to their phone. This piece ends with a paradoxical line which was ‘This poem was sent from my iPhone’. This marks a very humorous end contradicting the message on the usage of mobile phones.

What did I  think of the whole collection?

The collection was very interesting to read and I believe those that appreciate experimental poetry will really enjoy this collection. It features poems with unique structures like heart-shaped poems, upside down poems (I do not know the technical word for this) and even poetry written as Venn diagrams, organisation chart and excel spreadsheets. If you are interested in exploring various forms and shapes of poetry, you may find this collection as an interesting point of reference.

Concluding thoughts

This collection receives a three star out of five due to the ease of reading and the delivery  of the content is simple to understand. However in some instances, I felt that the reader had to do the work and by that I mean some of the experimental poems requires deep thinking on how it should be read which creates an active and alert reader throughout the piece.

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty- Peace Stood Still Like A Tree By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Forty- Peace Stood Still Like A Tree By Hannah Williams

Peace stood still like a tree
Asking the wind to call all nations both bond and free. 

A valley of freedom we use to know
Now drenched in yesterdays cold crimson conflict which overflows
Blood became thicker than the lake’s water.
Nobody is their brother’s keeper.

Peace stood still like a tree
Asking the wind to call the nations both bond and free.

Above the sorrowful sky
Lies vultures circling the hemisphere like flies.
Reaping from genocides harvest.
The silent hour at its darkest.

Peace stood still like a tree
Asking the wind to call all nations both bond and free.

She stood silent wailing like a willow tree.
Around her the nations gathered to make a decree.
Taking her leaves, they stripped her bare.
Clothed her with flags and burnt each tear.

Peace use to stand there like a tree,
Asking the wind to call the nations both bond and free.
Do not tell anyone what you hear nor what you see.
They are now looking for liberty and so she flee. 

 

 

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Nine- Dear You By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Nine- Dear You By Hannah Williams

Sunset and sunrise can be as beautiful as hellos and goodbyes.
At each instance, it doesn’t matter if your heart skips a beat or your stomach gets butterflies.
Each sleepless nights invites days which will bring you closer to the sweetest lullabies.
You may have been chained but know your ankles have power to break shackles.
You may have carried the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Tilt your neck and it will fall off.
You may have lifted your eyes to the mountains and saw giants.
Fix your eyes on the valley and pick three stones.
Amidst it all keep going.
For your feelings and fears are not your reality.
Dear you,
All you have been through makes you true.
So rise above it like a sunrise.
Let the fears dim like a fading sunset.

 

Book Review: Between Clay and Star (Various Writers and Translators)

Book Review: Between Clay and Star (Various Writers and Translators)

Between Clay and Star is the first major poetry translation book I have read and much to my surprise, it was quite pleasurable to read. The title is taken from a line of Liliana Ursu ‘Harmonia Mundi’ which reads’At the border between Clay and Star…’

The variety in this book was amazing. We had a spectrum from Ethiopian poets such as Reesom Haile to Tamil poet Shash Trevett and Romanian poets Liliana Ursu.

I enjoyed the exposure to different types of poetry. In fact, reading these poems made me more aware of the importance of translation and how it is imperative in discovering less known voices. Or perhaps simply voices which are not accessible to the mainstream but prominent in their own rights and countries.

Here are some of my favorite lines in the book:

Hugo Claus in 1965-
Give them this day our daily napalm and later our canned food and later our prayers
Shash Trevett in Bitter Waters

O Motherland, look not to me for your warrior.

Reesom Haile in African Anthem-
A shower of colours
To catch her eye
A garment of light
Across the sky
Reesom Haile in Poverty
I have nothing
Taste it with me
If we share,
We can bear
The worst poverty
Ana Blandiana- Self Sufficiency

Always in the air, hanging-like a fruit from 
Its tree, like an arrow from a bended bow,
Like words from its etymology. 

These powerful imagery embedded with the topics of the poems made it really enjoyable. Overall, I’d give this book 3.5 out of 5 because it was a worthwhile read.

Three and the half stars

Thank you for reading!

My Week At Tŷ Newydd (Writer’s Retreat In Wales)

My Week At Tŷ Newydd (Writer’s Retreat In Wales)

Last week, I attended the Tŷ Newydd Emerging Writers Programme. This took place from the 4-9th June 2018. This experience has really shaped my perceptions on writing and if anything it has encouraged me to keep writing. Without further ado, here is my reflection on the experience.

What did I learn on this course?
I have learnt about some of the various writing styles, the different ways in which you can approach your work and the editing process as the course explored these aspects. In fact, one of my goals was to learn how to enhance my writing style and learn how to experiment with other style of writing. This course has provided me with the tools to do so.

What were some of my fears or reservations about the course?
The performance or more specifically the reading sessions. I was a bit anxious about sharing my work but everyone was really supportive and encouraging so I felt more at ease when sharing.

What are some of the key highlights?

  • Conversations: I had some really interesting conversations with my peers, the facilitators and even managed to speak with a really famous welsh poet who gave me lots of brilliant advice and insight into poetry.
  • Food: The meals at dinner were absolutely delicious and you can help yourself to seconds  (which i did).
  • Information: I felt more informed about the world of literature and creative writing after attending this programme. Although it was in Wales, I was still informed about opportunities in London.

How do I hope to use what I have learnt?
I hope to encourage myself  by practicing these writing techniques and developing the building blocks either by writing leisurely, on this blog and perhaps even entering short story competitions in the long run.

Overall, I had an excellent time, our tutors were incredibly funny and incredible too. I sincerely wish everyone I met all the best.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Six- Illusions By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Six- Illusions  By Hannah Williams

When the moonlight reflects a mirage
Wait for the sun to say it’s an illusion.
Don’t rely on the mind which makes a faint figure
Yet sight and sound tells us its called perception.
Once materialised where do illusions go?
Maybe above and beyond the fading rainbow.

 

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Five- Not So Toxic By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Five- Not So Toxic By Hannah Williams

A song of poison spewed on the silent lips.
She gathered it and let it salsa on her tongue.
Then she showed her fangs slyly.
To ignite fear in me.
A warning sign that she is ready to sink deep within,
Deep into my skin, she bites.
The bite is not the worst,
As she disguised it as a kiss
Then she watched and waited
For the venom to overshadow me.
Yet she didn’t know before this,
I made her venomoid in her sleep.
I had to let her know that my precaution isn’t weak.

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Four- The Kiss By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Four- The Kiss By Hannah Williams

I expected the earth to shift
And oceans to be set adrift.
At the spark of our lips
Under this lunar eclipse.
A soft song fluttered in my tongue
Which birthed a love so young.
It still makes my heart skip.
To think of how your mouth danced on my lips.

 

Book Review: The White Book by Han Kang

Book Review: The White Book by Han Kang

 

The White Book is a short collection of prose which exudes the writers meditation on the topic matter of all things white. Throughout the book, we get a consistent imagery of white such as paper, snow and flowers. Although the book is well written, I did not enjoy the book and developed a love-hate relationship when reading the book. However, I do believe in a constructive review. Therefore, I should add that perhaps through translation some of the essence and authenticity of the book may have been lost.  Yet, I admire the poignant imagery, choice of words and the writing style. It truly is a well-written book. Below are my thoughts and commentary on ‘The White Book’.

What are some of the key themes of the book?
Aside from the key theme of the colour white and its association and representation, I believe this book deals with emotions, death, loss, trauma, memories and culture.

What is your favourite line from the book?

From the segment titled Small White Pills [The White Book (2016)]:

‘…if you could add up all the pills she’d ever taken, what  would the total be? How many hours of pain has she lived through?’

In my opinion, this line is reflective of the significance of medication in mental health. It highlights the effort and sparks a realisation of the emotional aspect of medication and attempts to quantify it.

Choose a short piece in the collection and attempt to explain it. 

The piece in which I have chosen is Sand. Please find the extract below:

Sand from The White Book by Han Kang (2016)

And she frequently forgot,
That her body (all our bodies) is a house of sand.
That it had shattered and is shattering still.
Slipping stubbornly through fingers.

This piece begins with the alliteration of ‘frequently forgot’ which emphasises the fact that we should not forget almost as a persuasive device. The repetition of the word ‘that’ aids our understanding of what the writer wants us to remember which can be summarise as we are:  a) sand and b) broken. This bleak imagery doesn’t end there. It takes the alliteration a step further through the use of ‘slipping stubbornly’ to emphasise our fragile and inevitable fate. We are dispensable no matter how we fight ‘stubbornly’ in life.

Rating

Four Stars

Final Thoughts
Overall, I didn’t enjoy this book but I believe it is important to mention that this is okay and realise that not every book you read you will enjoy. You should read this book if you enjoy prose/ poetic prose. You shouldn’t read this book if you don’t enjoy meditative and reflection pieces.

Thank you for reading!

5 Real and Honest Quotes Written By Me

5 Real and Honest Quotes Written By Me

I‘ve always loved quotes and find inspiration and wisdom in them. So this afternoon, I have decided to sit down and reflect on some of the quotes that I have written and would like to share with the readers of my blog. I hope you like them or find it thought-provoking.

1. There is no can’t or can.It is either I choose to or I choose not to.
2. Family is everything. Everything is anything. So in anything family is still everything.
3. The deception of a lie weighs deeper than the consequence of the truth. 
4. The true spirit of boldness is to say what you mean, how you mean it and not overthink on how people will take the message. At the end of the day, it is the message for the people and not pleasing people for the message. I don’t want to give people what they want to hear. 
5. Precaution is sometimes paranoia and paranoia is sometimes precaution.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Three- Acceptance Will Be My Duty By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Three- Acceptance Will Be My Duty By Hannah Williams

Like a peacock spreading its feathers,
I span out my feelings.
Like hands holding each other,
I long for this meaning.
Like petals to a flower,
I seek my purpose and beauty.
In this very hour,
Acceptance will be by duty.

23 Things I Learnt In My Twenties

23 Things I Learnt In My Twenties

It can be very difficult going through your twenties because you are becoming a young adult. It involves figuring out your likes and dislikes and navigating through the world with your identity. This can often result in mistakes. However, I realise not everyone’s twenties can be this way. Although, I must confess that mine are full of mistakes. I wish I could lie to you and say that I wouldn’t change it for the world because it has made me who I am. Yet, the truth is that I would totally change it.  I would totally change the past but I cannot because it has already been written as a part of my history.  Upon this reflection here are twenty three things I have learnt in my twenties.

  1. I cannot change the past but I can manage the effects. 
  2. Death doesn’t discriminate by age
  3. Love begins with accepting yourself
  4. Have a passion, hobby or interest- these are very important.
  5. Avoid situations that can haunt or hurt you in the future
  6. Your health comes first.
  7. Work hard in everything as you do not know what each opportunity may bring.
  8. Family is everything. 
  9. You are your own role model everyone else is inspiration. 
  10. Maintain healthy relationships.
  11. Appreciate everything you have. 
  12. Learn and try new things. 
  13. Step out of your comfort zone. 
  14. Your happiness starts with you and is dependent on you. 
  15. There are people out there whose sole ambition is to tear people down.
  16. Always try to maintain professionalism at work.
  17. Not everyone’s life is as perfect as it seems on social media.
  18. Nice people do not finish last. 
  19. Smiling isn’t a sign of weakness and a frown is not a signal to be feared.
  20. Making mistakes are important but learning from them are just as important.
  21. Age is not always wisdom. 
  22. Having a faith, belief system or values are important. 
  23. Be the best version of yourself, always. 

Thank you for reading!

What lessons have you learnt in your twenties?  Please feel free to share in the comments section!

Five Activities You Can Incorporate In Your Alone Time

Five Activities You Can Incorporate In Your Alone Time

In my teenage years, I have certainly underestimated the importance of alone time as I thought it was cooler to be around people. However, the older I get, the more I realise how important alone time is. After all, if you are not spending time with yourself, who will spend time with you?

In the hope of inspiring others to spend quality time with themselves, I am writing this post to share some ideas. I hope you can pass this on to someone you know or perhaps incorporate it into your alone time routine. Continue reading “Five Activities You Can Incorporate In Your Alone Time”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Two- The Glass House By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty Two- The Glass House By Hannah Williams

Look at my glass house but don’t throw stones
For sticks and stones may break my home.
This fragile abode with a transparent gaze,
Often leaves people amazed.
So you see my in’s and out.
A glass house is like a vase.
Prized.
Fragile.
Ornamented.
Look deeper and you’ll see my fears.
For I was a fool to build my years on a house so easy to break.
This is my mistake.

 

An Analysis of ‘Harlem Hopscotch’ by Dr Maya Angelou

An Analysis of ‘Harlem Hopscotch’ by Dr Maya Angelou
One foot down, then hop! It’s hot.
Good things for the ones that’s got.
Another jump, now to the left.
Everybody for hisself.
In the air, now both feet down.
Since you black, don’t stick around.
Food is gone, the rent is due.
Curse and cry and then jump two.
All the people out of work.
Hold for three, then twist and jerk.
Cross the line, they count you out.
That’s what hopping’s all about.
Both feet flat, the game is done.
They think I lost. I think I won.

Harlem Hopscotch is a powerful political piece of poetry which explores issues of poverty and struggle in the disadvantaged area of Harlem.

Title
The title Harlem Hopscotch suggests a distinct game exclusive to the province of Harlem. However, once we read the entire poem, we get an understanding that this poem is applicable to any disadvantaged area. In this piece, Harlem is a symbolic place used as an example of poverty.

Theme

Mentality: This poem highlights the mentality of people in disadvantaged areas in the first stanza. This is the mentality that everyone is for themselves as indicated in the line’ Everybody for hisself’. It also highlights the awareness of the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. This is the neutral viewpoint of ‘Good things for the ones that’s got’. This is an almost good for them attitude which translates to now I have to concentrate on myself.

Absence: In the second stanza we understand that in such an environment there is absence or lack. This is centred on resources like food and money.

Struggle: It helps highlight issues within disadvantages communities namely people ‘counting you out’ meaning not realising your worth and potential. The writer makes a light gesture that ‘that is what hopping is about’. Could this refer to the grind and hustle despite the hardship?

Poetic Devices
Rhyme: The use of rhyme helps make the deep and poignant message much digestible for the reader.

Conclusion
Overall, this piece is very insightful and I commend the writer ability to discuss an important issue in a light and playful manner.

 

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty One- I Am Abstract By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty One- I Am Abstract By Hannah Williams

I am abstract.
So you’d need to extract,
What I mean with songs, paintings, words and emotions.
My mind works in creative notions.

Some days I ask- Am I a circle or a square?
Or am I a shape that’s not even there?
Could I be right and wrong at the same time?
Black and White has become a grey line.

I am abstract.
So you’d need to extract,
What facets of my identity are intact?
Which part of me is a falsifiable fact?

Some days I ask- Am I bounded or free?
Or do I even know what it takes to be me?
Could I be anything I set my mind to?
And achieve and succeed at all I do.

I am abstract.
So you’d need to extract
The difference between my future and my past.
And would I be able to say I made it at last.

Some days I ask- is the problem with me or society?
Or am I the change I hope to see quietly.
Could I be a world changer?
Or are my aspirations full of danger.

I am abstract.
So you’d need to extract,
The balance of optimism and pessimism.
Don’t make me live in realism.

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty- Dear Daughter By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirty- Dear Daughter By Hannah Williams

I will not be able to calm the storm
Nor promise you that I’d walk on water.
Yet if you find yourself sinking.
Remember like mother like daughter.
I have had my share of drowning
But you will not suffer.
I have made my sacrifices for you,
Because I want to be your mother.

Book Review: Helium By Rudy Francisco

Book Review: Helium By Rudy Francisco

Helium is a short poetry collection written by Rudy Francisco. It explores various facets of life such as love, mental health, race, acceptance and people. Although I came across the book on the Button Poetry website through their mailing list, my attitude towards the collection was very blasé. I didn’t give it a chance until today when I went into my local bookstore and decide to purchase and read the book. Based on this, I can say that I enjoyed reading the collection and I am very glad I gave the book a chance.

What did you think of the Title? 

Personally, I do not believe the title represented the book.  Although it may be a metaphorical representation as we know that helium is an element. Perhaps, this collection represents the various elements and aspects of the poet’s life which are weaved into the poems.

What are your first impressions?

I was really impressed with the poets ability to describe simple things so vividly. The style of writing in which Francisco uses is very clear, descriptive and imaginable. I was open to the others poems and must admit I found myself smiling and revelling each one.

What do you think the writer’s technique are? 

I believe the writing style of Francisco is one that is relatable. The reader can grasp the clear message of the themes that the writer discusses. The ability to make poetry comprehensible is definitely a great skill to showcase and have as a writer.

What are your top three favourite quotes from the book?

  • ….remind yourself that you are human (From the Poem Instructions).
  • I have a solar-powered confidence and a battery operated smile. (From the Poem My Honest Poem)
  • I am learning that a person who only knows how to fight can only communicate in violence and that shouldn’t  be anyone’s first language        ( From the Poem Rifle II)

What are your top three favourite poems from the collection and why?

1. Accent- This poem explores accents by comparing it to cooking. 
I enjoyed the poem because it is a different and interesting way to look at accents.

2. 'My Honest Poem' is almost like an autobiographical piece exploring the writer's life. 
I enjoyed this poem because it was personal and made me feel at ease reading the poem.

3. Rifle II is an informative piece which talks about how an artist is musical making instruments from guns. 
 It was something that I have never heard before yet this piece made me aware of this in a poetic way. 
I was educated on something that I didn't know about.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Nine- Limbo In A Promise By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Nine- Limbo In A Promise By Hannah Williams

At a cross way with a cold chorus,
Promise was left to be pious.
On the right hand of promise was the infallible good.
On the left hand of promise was the infallible bad.
For Promise has the power to snap your decisions into two.
So be benign when you,
Cross your heart and hope to die.
Cross your heart and hope to live.
Cross your body and hope health will restore the derelict.
Cross your mind and hope to believe.
Cross your spirit and hope to breathe
Cross your soul and hope to resurrect.
Do not tarry.
Do not wait.
Do not limbo in a Promise.
For when you lay six feet forever,
Your choices, decisions and promises will lie on too.

 

 

 

 

Prose/Short Story: Why She Left You

Prose/Short Story: Why She Left You


The lunar light shone bright on her under that icy winter moonlight. She felt the light. She felt it. It warmed her heart and seared away the sorrow. In that moment, she felt peace. The breeze blew her hair and the cold caressed her lips. The lips too stiff to speak up for herself.
She looked out the window wondering when you will come home and whose scent will you bring with you. Some days, you brought seasons, I could have sworn I smelt spring in you. The fresh scents of daffodils and tulips. An array of spring but it wasn’t my scent. You bought another woman’s essence into our matrimonial home.
You have been doing this for years. With the knowledge that she loved the player who was too immersed in playing games. You knew her courage was weak.
But tonight… tonight? Tonight she conversed with her heart and she knew what to do. She didn’t want to do it. She really didn’t. She didn’t want to leave. But she did. Although her courage and strength was dried up. In fact, it was drained. You drained her like spaghetti in a sieve. You took the life out of her. You took her time. You took her love. You took her identity. She lost herself all because she was trying to keep you.
So each night when you went out, she practised positive affirmations and built her worth. Although you tore her self-esteem, trampled it to the ground and used it as rags.
She learnt to wash it, iron it and sew the rag into a patchwork quilt. She did that on the night she left you.
She left because she realised she is only responsible for herself. She realised her happiness was not rooted in you.
She left because she realised there is a world of opportuniities for her to realise her potential and be who she always wanted to be.
She left because this choice will lead her to the discovery of her happiness.
Unhappiness ate her up inside. It then left a bitter ulcer in her stomach and she vomited the bile of venomousness.
Yet in the name of the sickness of love, she realised that she could be healed.
The victory in her leaving you had no closure. No notes, no letters and certainly no explanations.
She left you to search your conscience for in your hearts of hearts you knew.
You knew the reasons of why she left.
When Carmen left you.

 

Book Review: Kingdom of Gravity by Nick Makoha

Book Review: Kingdom of Gravity by Nick Makoha

Kingdom of Gravity is a poetry collection written by Nick Makoha. This collection explores a range of topics such as war, poverty, the effects of guerrilla leaders on Uganda. Through the writer’s deep and poignant imagery, the reader gets to understand the dark aspect of Ugandan history.

  • What aspect of the poetry collection did you enjoy the most?
    I enjoyed reading Beatitude the most as it was a piece of poetry which I could imagine vividly. I enjoyed analysing the piece on my blog which can be found here.
  • What aspect of the poetry collection was the most emotive?
    I consider the poem ‘Killing Craft’ to be the most emotive aspect of the collection. The topic was heavy as it details a naive boy who smokes marijuana, killed his father, has a ‘river of AIDS’ flowing through his blood. The explicit reference to the ‘boy’ life is quite poignant. In fact, if you are sensitive and unable to stomach gory details of the harsh reality which this poem is centred on, then this is not the book for you.
  • What are your top five quotes in this book and why do you like them so much? 
1. Presidency can buy you celebrity.

This is the opening sentence in the poem ‘Highlife’ which is in the book. This line is quite relevant in both the developing world and the developed world . Also, as a president you will be well known either for good or bad reasons.

2. When the bodies disappear, discarded like the husk of mangoes

This is the opening sentence to the poem ‘Beatitude’. It paints a realistic image of neglect and how life is easily discarded in those conditions.

3. When the sun abandoned me, the sky was an iris of black glass
Nights kept me sleepless;

This was the opening line in ‘The Bee’. It is a paradoxical imagery which  paints the turmoil in a gentle beautiful manner.

4.  When the hills were on fire, there were no angels to guide us.

This line is from ‘The Second Republic’. It paints a faith based imagery in which the situation is so bad that even divinely entities cannot provide any support.

5.  Even a rock stays by the stream to curve its edges.

This line is from the poem ‘Legion’ . I believe it portrays the importance of foundation and ability to be rooted somewhere or perhaps, the harshness of events which help shapes our identity.

  • Who should read this book?
    This book should be read by adults due to the high emotional intelligence this book requires. Also, if you have an interest in the political climate of Uganda and its past, you will find this book interesting. As someone who is not Ugandan, I believe it is important to learn about other countries and gain awareness on its history. On that basis, I enjoyed reading the book.
  • Rating: Four stars

Four Stars

  • Final Thoughts

This book has been insightful in terms of writing styles. I enjoyed reading in this style of writing but found the topic to be quite dark and sad. This book may not be for you if you are emotionally sensitive. Overall, I thought it was a good read.

 

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Eight- The Financial Crisis By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Eight- The Financial Crisis By Hannah Williams


The world has felt your wrath before.
We felt your violent shake and your ravenous storm.
We give new names to old gods.
You were once the Latin American Sovereign debt.
Then you reincarnated as the Asian crisis.
Before you plagued us in all hemispheres and revealed your self as the Global Financial Crisis.
We know your nature.
We know your will.
We saw your guise.
Nonetheless we were none the wise.
You came bearing presents.
Your gifts were derivatives.
To change the narrative of risk.
We accepted it with open arms and flooded the market with your benevolence.
We didn’t know you were lingering in the air.
Junk bonds became butterflies.
And if only credit rating agencies clipped its wings.
Maybe they wouldn’t fly.
Nor flutter beautifully.
Or maybe they saw butterflies and called it moths.
These moths ate the garnishing garments that hid the secrets of finance.
Then the academics saw beauty in ashes.
Formulas which will change the dynamics of how to price.
Then they called it gold.
And the bankers were completely sold.
If only they saw its journey with hindsight.
But you did. And you were lurking, waiting and hungered for this disaster.
Amidst it all, you cheered them all.
On. On. On.

Prose/Short Story: The Reflected Lamplight By Hannah Williams

Prose/Short Story: The Reflected Lamplight By Hannah Williams

The reflected lamplight shone on. It shone directly on me. It provided a simple illumination in this dark hour. In my deep darkness, I waded by the lamplight wondering how far humans have strayed from God’s light. Yet, I wondered if this light will illuminate my path home. It did. In fact, several reflected lamplights led me home. I walked following the light. Even though, you were told to stay away from the light. Eventually, I got home. I sat in the garden for an hour sipping my tea. It was warm, milky and heavenly – just how I like it. Then I reflected on my day.

Today was like any other day. I woke up half-hearted and demotivated but ready to endure every hour of the day. I went into work. I started on my mundane tasks first ensuring I prioritised the urgent from the fickle. I was always told I had a strong work ethic but no people skills. So I worked in silence whilst I heard the office oversharing their weekend antics. They smiled. They laughed. They grinned. The faces beamed like hyenas who saw the carcass of a kill. In the midst of their laughter, our boss decided it was time to kill the first prey. The prey was me. I was led to my slaughter. He talked for minutes about how I was hardworking. Then escalated it to how funding had been tight this year and how this was part and parcel of restructuring. I was crippled. I froze. Nothing came out of my mouth and nothing seeped into my ear. I was paralysed.

So, I packed up from my little corner of the office. I compressed thirteen years of my time in the office to thirteen minutes. I packed everything I owned in that office. I stuffed it in my bag. Then I handed in my ID. The clock croaked twice and it was 11am.

I headed over to the park and sat there for hours. A myriad of faces I saw. At twelve, I saw an old married couple feeding ducks and realised that love has never been so young. At one, I saw a mother playing with her child in the park and realised motherhood had never been so liberating. At two, I saw a businesswoman out to lunch and realise progression had never been so befitting. Amidst these beautiful lives, mine was crumbling like a house made on sand. Yet, none of these faces returned my smiles but perhaps it was because their lives was worthwhile.

Before I knew it, I began to cry. I cried not like a baby because that was too loud. I cried but not like crying an ocean because that was too dramatic. I cried like someone who was fighting an internal battle. This inner cry is soft, the tear roll gentle and the sobs leave you out of breath. I cried and not a person was in sight to witness my pain.

The hour became very dark. I had no one or nothing to comfort me. Even if there was a soul interested in my pain. I would not know the words in which I can use to express myself. The sun went down. The wind stopped whistling. The leaves stopped playing. They ceased- at least in my world. It became dark, bleak and obsolete.

I gave up hope. Till I saw the reflect light shine on. The common adage came to mind that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Even though my tunnel was deep, the street light coming on reminded me to stay positive. The ability to connect physical with emotional was what saved me on this very night- the reflected lamplight.

It shone directly on me.

An Analysis of ‘Beatitude’ By Nick Makoha

An Analysis of ‘Beatitude’ By Nick Makoha
Beatitude By Nick Makoha (2017)
When a rebel leader promises you the world seen in commercials,
he will hold a shotgun to the radio announcer’s mouth,
and use a quilt of bristling static to muffle the tears.
When the bodies disappear, discarded like husks of mangos,
he will weep with you in the hours of reckoning and judgement,
into the hollow night when the crowd disperse.
When by paraffin light his whiskey breath tells you
your mother’s wailings in your father’s bed are a song
for our nation, as he sits with you on the veranda to witness a sunrise.
say nothing. Slaughter your herd. Feed the soldiers
who looted your mills and factories. Let them dance
in your garden while an old man watches.
Then when they sleep and you blood turns to kerosene,
find your mother gathering water at the well to stave off
the burning. Shave her head with a razor from the kiosk.
When the fury has gathered, take her hand and run
past the fields’ odour of blood and bones. Past the checkpoint,
past the swamp towards smokey disc flaring on the horizon.
Run till your knuckles become as white as handkerchiefs.
Run into the night’s florescent silence. Run till your lungs
becomes a furnace of flames. Run pas the border.
Run till you no longer see yourself in other men’s eyes.
Run past sleep. past darkness visible.
Stop when you find a country where they do not know your name.

This piece of poetry is very thought-provoking and insightful into the impact of rebel rulership in Uganda. However these parallels can be applied to any militia’s rule. The first stanza sets the tone and mood of the poem- a world in censorship and fear. This is illustrated through the  ‘shotgun held to the radio announcer’s mouth and ‘bristling static to muffle the tears.’

Furthermore, the use of propaganda in this regime is very apparent. The rebel leader’ promises a world seen in commercials. The use of the word commercial merely suggests advertising and a sense of selling dreams. Furthermore, the word commercial is an American word. This suggests a world which is distant and contradictory to their reality. Nonetheless, this world is promised with a censorship of the truth.

Structure
This poem is written in seven stanza’s with three lines each. This structure helps illustrate the directness of the piece and how concise and succinct the writer’s thought are.

Themes

Death: The deaths are described as disappearing bodies and lives are discarded ‘like husks of mangoes’. It is not only death of people but also death of livelihoods which is expressed through the lines ‘Slaughter your herd‘ which is an instruction for when all hope is lost. We are constantly reminded of death throughout the poem for instance in the line ‘run past the fields’ odour of blood and bones’.

Oppression: The oppression of women is the song for the nation. This is highlighted through the line ‘your mother’s wailing’s in your father’s bed are a song for our nation’. The writer encourages that within this oppression, you remain silent and ‘say nothing’, Instead, you should appease the oppressors by ensuring that you ‘feed the soldiers
who looted your mills and factories. Let them dance in your garden while an old man watches’. Amidst, all the oppression, the thing you can do is allow it and watch on.

Poetic Devices

Repetition and Active Tenses: The poem begins with ‘When’ to help set the mood and paints a vivid picture of the regime. Once the imagery has been solidified, Makoha switches to ‘Run’ as the answers to these terrible ordeals. It switches from the inactive ‘when’ to the active ‘run’. This helps illustrates the urgency of the environment as a do or die moment. Lastly, the ‘run’ comes with an instruction of when to cease- you stop running when you reach a country where no one know your name.

Thank you for reading.

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Seven: Consent by Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Seven: Consent by Hannah Williams


I say it with her.
I say it for her.
Then I let her say it with and for herself.
We both learnt to say it.
Before we are reduced.
For you saw her innocence.
What was it made of?
It was laced with naivety
Intricately woven with virtue.
Hemmed with impeccability.
You took each stitch off.
With your seam ripper.
We could call it patriarchy.
We could call it male dominance.
We could call it chauvinistic.
We could call it a power bias.
It need not matter the new names we give to old gods.
For the crimes you committed against her, I will ask God not to spare the rod.

Prose/Short Story: I Bought Death Instead of Beauty By Hannah Williams

Prose/Short Story: I Bought Death Instead of Beauty By Hannah Williams

Iknew society was absorbed with beauty and I learnt that from a young age. On this youthful summer day, I learnt one detrimental life lesson. I discovered the bias in beauty. I remember it so vividly. I was sitting in the playground and Amelia knocked the lunchbox from my hands. My food dropped and I was forced to do what you were told to do as a child- Always tell your teacher. I told Ms Sheer who proceeded to respond with ‘Amelia wouldn’t do that, she has the face of an angel’. It got me thinking what is the face of an angel? Is it thin lips? Is it wide eyes? Is it straight hair? Is it blonde hair? Is it a fair complexion? If it is, then Amelia indeed was an angel.

Year went on, I left this memory at the back of my mind and reminded myself to develop character. Amidst all of the character developing, I came to the realisation that ‘Nice people finish last’ and that was the revelation I had for most of my life.

So I did what any one in my position would do. I began to change myself. It started off with style and fashion. I began to look for inspirations within magazines. I looked between the sheets of glorified and airbrushed beauty. At the time, I didn’t realise it. I didn’t realise I was becoming immersed in the industry standards of beauty. I found myself wanting to become like the models. It was a desire to be thin and polished.

I went to the gym four times a week. I threw up 7 days a week. I was committed full time to be like the models in magazine and reminisced on being like the other beautiful angels I crossed paths with. Eventually, I became thin like the models. I was so ecstatic that I was the ideal body type.  Then, the industry changed the status quo. The thin image was out and curvy was in.

So I did what anyone in my position would do. I bought my body and that’s what brought me here. I became a newspaper tale of a woman who was filled with the desire of beauty. I was fuelled by societal pressure and past experiences.

Despite my efforts to hide this all, you could see it in my eyes… the twinkle that taught me that everything that glitters is gold. This solemn spark which could not be quenched. L just wanted to fit in. I wanted to be like others and it got out of hand. Diets and exercise escalated to unhealthy eating habits which birthed the reason for my surgery. The lack of money meant I bought death instead of beauty. I bought my death sentence all in the name of beauty. So God what do you think of me?

Book Review: Animal Farm By George Orwell

Book Review: Animal Farm By George Orwell

Animal Farm is a political fable which highlights the downfalls of some political and economic systems. Specifically in the book, it talks of a system known as Animalism. It is considered as one of Britain’s most classical stories and post- war novel.
The themes explored in this book are mainly dictatorship, power and politics.

In this blog post, I will be exploring Animal Farm in more detail.

  • What is the book about?
    Animal Farm is a highly political book which explores dictatorship and misuse of power. Indeed, there are many political interpretations to this book. However, I believe Animal Farm is about the dangers of ideologies and how something innocent or beneficial can be manipulated. In the beginning of the book, an idea through a dream is told by Old Major. This idea is that animals on the farm will solely benefit from their produce and not imitate the ‘vices of man’. A very fair, simple and liberating idea which later becomes the very cause of oppression.
  • Which part of the book was the most emotive?
    The saddest part of the book is what happens to Boxer. I won’t reveal too much BUT he was one of the most loyal and hardworking animal in the farm who strongly believed in the cause. Yet, he suffered a cruel fate. It was an emotive part of the story and a betrayal of trust. This aspect of Animal Farm got me emotive because of the distortion of events. Despite events being distorted throughout the novel, I wasn’t prepared for the distortion in Chapter 9.
  • What literary devices are used to enhance Animal Farm?
    • Songs and Poetry
      •  ‘The Beast of England’ is a powerful song to the animals which usually consoled them in times of hardship. This song reflected the morale of the animals for instance when it was sung continuously it showed how enthusiastic and liberated they felt about the movement of Animalism. In chapter 5 however, it was only sung once. This was done to illustrate the burdens of the movement.
      • The Comrade Napoleon poem was written in a style in resemblance of a hymn where Napoleon is given godlike attributes such as being omniscient as expressed in the line ‘thou watchest over all’ and ‘calm and commanding eye’. This poem praises him and further reinforces the power in which he has.
    • Symbolism
      • In chapter 5  when Napoleon takes away the debate which usually takes place on Sundays. It was symbolic of taking away their free speech and ability to think independently.
  • Who should read this book?
    Some regard this book as a children’s book and personally, I do not believe it is. I think children would not be able to fully grasp all the dimensions of this novel so I would say Young Adults and upwards. As well as anyone with an interest in politics.

This book is for you if:

  • You enjoy political books
  • Like books with a moral message
  • Want a short read
  • Want to read a classic book

This book is not for you if:

  • Dislike politics
  • Want a long read
  • Don’t want to think or analyse too much.
  • Don’t want to be pressured into reading classics

An Analysis of ‘Death Ain’t Nothing But A Song’ By Donte Collins

An Analysis of ‘Death Ain’t Nothing But A Song’ By Donte Collins
my mother moved out
of her body   decided it
was no longer worthy
it couldn’t contain her laughter
she couldn’t obey the house
rules of human   her spirit
that young & fresh fever    wanted
to call the night her dance club
wanted to try new clothes
stay out later
my mother now wears the world
dresses herself  with the tall grass
blushes her cheeks with red clay
she laughs & a forest fire awakens
she laughts & every mountain bows
to her sharp thunder    she laughs
&each cicada begins to sing  last
night Saint Paul was cloaked in steam
fog travelled from some distant heat.
no, i think   you’ve got it all wrong
someone must have asked my mother
to dance

This piece titled ‘Death Ain’t Nothing But A Song’ is written by Donte Collins. In this blog post, I will be analysing the title,  form and structure of this poem, poetic devices used and my understanding of the poem.

Title

The title ‘Death Ain’t Nothing But A Song’ is understood at the end of the poem where Collins write ‘someone must have asked my mother to dance’. This explains the title because the song in which she was dancing to was death hence the title. However the person or Being who asked her mother to dance is unidentified in this poem leaving the inference that it could be natural or even supernatural.

Form and Structure

This poem is written as a free verse to express the personality of the writer’s mother which is a free spirit. The form and structure could also be a reflection that the writer’s mother is free and liberated through death.

Poetic Devices

No Punctuation: The lack of punctuation in this piece illustrates the freedom and liberation as there is no stopping or pauses. The only punctuation which is evident is the use of and( &),. This shows that there is more to add rather than stop. This therefore aids us to understand that the writers mothers vibrancy will go on.

Space

Within the poem, there is space in each stanza. This space is there to perhaps reflect the overwhelming topic of death and the emotions the writer feels. Therefore , needing space to breathe and continue.

Imagery

The imagery the writer uses are very powerful yet sad.  For instance the stanza which states that ‘my mother now wears the world dresses herself  with the tall grass blushes her cheeks with red clay’. At first, it is easy to imagine this imagery as a memory of the mother dressing up and putting on makeup. However the underlying tone is death meaning that she is back with nature and slowly degrading into debris.

My Understanding Of The Poem

The theme of this poem is death. The ways in which the writer describes his mother’s death is descriptive. It begins with ‘moving out of her body’ then escalates to ‘wears the world’. The writer’s ability to describe something so solemn in a simple yet descriptive manner is high commendable. Overall, this poem is a bitter sweet poem which celebrates both life and death.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Six- Name Power By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Six- Name Power By Hannah Williams

An unjustifiable criteria
Determined by a crooked line
Spewed out to split the equator into two.
I’ve heard the names one half calls the other.
To make it better the cunning half changed the terms.
Less economically developed replaced poor.
Regulation replaced corruption
Grass root movements replaced unemployment.
Parallels living in contradiction.
So the oppressed South asks the oppressing North.
Why do you give the same inconceivable acts new names?
Call the rose by its name.
For in the power of names,
Hides your solution to each change.

An Analysis of ‘One Continent to Another’By Grace Nichols

An Analysis of ‘One Continent to Another’By Grace Nichols
Like the yesterday of creation morning
she had imagined this new world to be
bereft of fecundity
No she wasn’t prepared
for the sea that lashed
fire that seared
solid earth that delivered
her up
birds that flew
not wanting to see the utter
rawness of life everywhere
and the men who seed the children
she wasn’t prepared for that look
in their eye-
that loss of deep man pride
Now she stoops
in green canefields
piecing the life she would lead

This piece analyses the poem ‘One Continent to Another’ written by Grace Nichols. Here is my analysis on the piece.

Structure

This poem is written as free verse perhaps to reflect the myriad of thoughts going through this woman’s head. In particular, a woman who want to migrate. The fluidity in the structure reflects the woman’s concerns. It is evident that the woman’s concerns are apparent and the structure of the poem reflects her concerns well.

Poetry Analysis

The poem begins with the opening which is ‘ Like yesterday of creation morning…’ and I found myself asking what does this mean? Then, I looked deeper and realised that the change the woman sought was long overdue. The woman in the poem yearns for a new start however she is constrainted  by her present condition. Even in her imagination, there are limitations as she ‘imagined this new world to be bereft of fecundity’. In simple English, she is sceptical of the abundance and opportunities available in this new place she wishes to migrate.

In my perceptions, I view this woman as a refugee who doesn’t fully understand the dangers and implications of moving from one continent to another. In the second part of the poem, it is implied that she is not ‘prepared for sea that lashed, fire that seared, solid earth that delivered her up’. The reader now understands the implications of the woman’s migration and the hardship she will encounter in doing so.

In the third part of the poem, the reader is introduced to disappointment the woman faces. The disappointment that in this situation, men cannot do anything to make the situation better but rather despair in the ‘loss of deep man’s pride’.

In the final part of the poem, we return to the present where we see the woman’s current situation. The mention of green canefield implies she is a slave to her condition and is trying to make sense of her situation.

 

Thank you for reading.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Five- Take Me By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Five- Take Me By Hannah Williams

Take me to the river
To wade by the water in the winter moonlight.
In the depths of the river reflects a woman who drowned trying to grasp freedom.
A man whose hopes of emancipation dangles around his neck.
At the river bank lies children whose bodies are rooted in the ground as if they’re flowers.

Take me to the path
The long golden road
Where scars are healed and derogatory terms are seized.
Rising with the sunrise
Seeing Dr King’s dreams for the nation living in me.

Take me to the classroom
Absorbing the Golden Rules
The new testaments of what to say
The commandments on how to say it.
The Grace on when to say it

Take me to the kitchen
Where the word blares loudly
And you said it proudly
Stabbed the woman, the man and the children by the river.
Stole the living dream in me
Moved me away from the equilibrium of my understanding.

So answer me this?
Who did you oppress more?
When you said the word
Was it me? Or Was It You?

Book Review: The Sun And Her Flowers By Rupi Kaur

Book Review: The Sun And Her Flowers By Rupi Kaur

The Sun And Her Flowers is a poetry collection written by Rupi Kaur. This collection deals with a range of topics such as love, migration, self esteem, beauty and more importantly nature. These themes are discussed in an open, vulnerable and candid manner.

We discover the reason the collection is titled ‘The Sun and Her Flowers’ in page 173 where Kaur writes:

what is it with you and sunflowers he asks
i point to the field of yellow outside
sunflowers worship the sun i tell him
only when it arrives do they rise
when the sun leaves
they bow their heads in mourning
that is what the sun does to those flowers
it is what you do to me
-the sun and her flowers

This poetry collection is not for you if:

  • You enjoy poetry that makes you think deeply about the message rather than be given the message.
  • You enjoy the use of punctuation to enhance poetry.
  • You enjoy analysing the poetry that you read.
  • You did not enjoy Milk and Honey

This poetry collection is for you if:

  • You are new to poetry and want to be exposed to different styles of poetry
  • You enjoy affirmations infused with poetry
  • You enjoy free verse and like poets who write in a similar manner to Rupi Kaur
  • You enjoyed the first book ‘Milk and Honey’

In reading this collection, I admire Rupi’s honesty in sharing her experiences and writing from a place which evokes emotion. I would like to add that despite the controversy that writers such as Rupi Kaur are not proper poets, it evokes the question of why do they have such a massive audience?

Overall, I would rate this collection as a three out of five because it entertained me on my journeys to and from work and it was a quick and simple read.

An Analysis Of ‘What The Dead Know By Heart’ By Donte Collins

An Analysis Of ‘What The Dead Know By Heart’ By Donte Collins
What The Dead Know By Donte Collins (2017)
lately, when asked how are you, i
respond with a name no longer living
Rekia, Jamal, Sandra, Philando
i am alive by luck at this point, i wonder
often: if the gun will unmake me
is yet made, what white birth
will bury me, how many bullets, like a
flock of blue jays, will come carry my black
to its final bed, which photo will be used
to water down my blood, today i did
not die & there is no god or law to
thank, the bullet missed  my head
& landed in another. today, i passed
a mirror & did not see a body, instead
a suggestion, a debate, a blank
post-it note there looking back. i
haven’t enough room to both rage and
weep. i go to cry & each tear turns
to steam. I say
I matter& a ghost
white hand appears
over my mouth.

This piece analyses the contemporary poem ‘What The Dead Know By Heart’ which was written by Donte Collins. It deals with the issues of the brutal policing of black people from the writers perspective. This piece is very thought-provoking, surreal and send shivers down my spine at the same time. Below is the analysis of the poem.

Structure
This piece is written as a free verse. The free verse structure helps illustrate the writer’s freedom to think and to express his feelings on a topic so connected to him. However, this freedom is contradictory to the topic of the poem because it is not about his freedom in America but rather the lack of. This structure is so important in this poem because it is the one of the few places where we can hear a black man express his opinion without censorship, without restrictions and without the overpowering opinion of white supremacists.

Tone
The tone of this poem is very despondent, bleak and heavy and rightly so, since the poem deals with a bleak, despondent and heavy topic. It begins with a light question which is centred on ‘how are you’ in which he responds as dead through mentioning the names of ‘Rekia, Jamal, Sandra, Philando’ in whom we know their stories and how they suffered from police brutality. Even when positive imagery is used through the sentence ‘flock of blue jays’, it is being used to describe how bullets fly and how it will carry his ‘black’ to his final bed. The use of colour becomes redundant because it is reduced to black which typically signified death.

Poetic Devices

Punctuation: This poem does not use capital letters and focuses on small letters. Perhaps to illustrate how this issue is bigger than him. It may also illustrate the abudance of his emotion and how overwhelmed he is. The lack of punctuation highlights how the issue is bigger than punctuation and defies the traditional sense of poetry but rather wants us to look into the message deeper.

Enjambment: There are several line breaks in this poem. This could be done to illustrate how broken the poet feels living in such a society which devalues him and others like him.

Theme
This poem deals with how black people are ill treated in America. He highlights the harsh reality that the killing of black people is reduced to ‘a suggestion, a debate. a blank’ but more shockingly the writer wonders if he is murdered by a gun, what picture will be used to ‘water down’ his blood. This highlights the issue of media using images of the murdered to try and make them less human.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Four- The State Of Mind By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Four- The State Of Mind By Hannah Williams

I looked into her eyes and smiled.
But what could smiling prove.
When I could see me in her eyes.
So my smiles were just lucid lies.
Even though I could recognise her in me.
My misconceptions were flying free.
The hums of her cry is my lullaby,
that wakes me up at night.
But not because of my power and might.
For the pain travels in space and time.
Only to discover that weeping is for the night.
So just like her, we have the same fight.
For the state of mind is our very plight.

An Analysis of ‘What Were They Like?’ By Denise Levertov

An Analysis of ‘What Were They Like?’ By Denise Levertov
What Were They Like By Denise Levertov
1. Did the people of Viet Nam
use lanterns of stone?
2. Did they hold ceremonies
to reverence the opening of buds?
3.Were they inclined to quiet laughter?
4.Did they use bone and ivory
jade and silver, for ornament?
5.Had they an epic poem?
6.Did they distinguish between speech and singing?
1. Sir, their light hearts turned into stone.
It is not remembered whether in gardens
stone lanterns illumined pleasant ways.
2. Perhaps they gathered once to delight in blossoms
but after the children were killed
there were no more buds
3. Sir, laughter is bitter to the burned mouth.
4. A dream ago, perhaps. Ornament is for joy.
All bones are charred.
5. It is not remembered. Remember,
most were peasants; their life
was in rice and bamboo.
When peaceful clouds were reflected in the paddies
and the water buffalo stepped surely along terraces,
maybe fathers told their sons tales.
When bombs smashed those mirrors
there was time only to scream.
6. There is no echo yet
of their speech which was like a song.
It was reported that their singing resembled
the flight of moths in moonlight.
Who can say? It is silent now.

This piece by Denise Levertov is about the Vietnam War which occurred between 1955 till 1975. This political poetry explores the aftermath of the effects of the war in a compelling and thought provoking manner.

Title and Structure

The title which is ‘What were they like?’ simply implies a sense of curiosity and eagerness to understand what they Vietnam people were like. This curiosity is displayed in the structure of the poem. It is written as two stanza. The first stanza is a series of questions and the second stanza’s are the bitter answers to those questions. It can be said that this piece is almost like a conversation between two people. This could be interpreted as a conversation between  a tourist and a tour guide or even a dialogue between interviewer and interviewee. However, it is imperative to know that both sides are knowledgeable about Vietnam. It is just that the person asking questions holds a naive and oblivious view. Therefore, the questions gravitates towards the culture and customs of Vietnam such as ‘ceremonies to reverence the opening of buds’. This question is about what they celebrate. This cultural knowledge exudes further through asking about their ‘speech and language’ and their ‘epic poem’ as well as  what they used for ‘ornament’. It is a curiosity to their culture without the acknowledgement of the impact of the war on the culture of Vietnam. This, therefore, leads to the second part of the poem which answers all those questions and highlights the impact of war on the Vietnam people culture and customs.

Poetic Devices

Repetition: In the first stanza, the word ‘Did’ is used in every sentence. This reinforces the theme of curiosity.  However, if we analyse the word further, did is the past tense of do. This suggests that there is an ambiguous connotation here. The ambiguous connotation is that the person asking the question may have an idea that these customs were done in the past but may not be aware of whether it is done now. Therefore, he/she is curious to find out the answer.

Juxtaposition: In the second stanza, there is a series of contrast and juxtaposition. For instance, the opening line of the person answering the question begins with ‘ Sir, their light hearts turned to stone’. This shows how the war turned people with a light heated nature to stone. This imagery is one of softness and hardness in the same sentence.

Imagery: It offers bleak imagery through lines such as ‘after the children were killed, there were no more buds’. This powerful imagery helps us imagine that children should be growing like flowers but after the impact of the war, children didn’t grow. Like flowers they didn’t bud.

Conclusion 

To conclude, I believe the message of this poem is to raise awareness and insight into what life was like before, during and after the Vietnam War. It offers a cultural and political understanding of the impact of war on people.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Three- The Great Silence By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Three- The Great Silence By Hannah Williams

My mind is awake
My mouth is numb.
My soul a lake,
I’m deaf and dumb.

My mind is awake.
My ears are dead.
My senses fake,
The great silence is fed.

My mind is awake.
My voice is gone.
My soul a lake,
Silence within me is done.

My mind is awake.
But I cannot speak
Nor can I critique,
But the great silence leaks.

 

 

 

 

An Analysis of ‘ You Will Hear Thunder And Remember Me’ By Anna Akhmatova

An Analysis of ‘ You Will Hear Thunder And Remember Me’ By Anna Akhmatova
You will hear thunder and remember me,
And think she wanted storms. The rim
Of the sky will be the color of hard crimson,
And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire.
That day in Moscow, it will all come true.
When, for the last time, I take my leave,
And hasten to the heights that I have longed for
Leaving my show still to be with you.
~Anna Akhmatova (June 23rd 1889- March 5th 1966)

 

This poem written by Anna Akhmatova expresses the writer anger and frustration against Stalin rule in the Soviet Union. From the writer’s biography, we know that she was persecuted and censored under Stalin’s ruler ship. This is further depicted through the writer’s mention of Moscow in the fifth line of the poem.

Structure
The poem is written as two stanza which both consists of four lines. There is no use of rhyme because the topic is quite stark and heavy. The lack of rhyme helps to set the tone of the poem. Furthermore the use of enjambment and frequent line breaks of the poem illustrates  the use of  disruption.This is to express the writers feeling towards Stalin’s ruler ship in which she wants disruption.

Tone

The tone of the poem can be said to be one of vengeance, anger and judgement. There is an element of certainty within this poem. This ambience has been set through the use of lines such as ‘You will’ and ‘And your heart, as it was then, will be on fire’ as well as ‘ That day in Moscow’. This is the writer foretelling the future in an authoritative and unquestionable manner.

Message

The main message of this poem is about legacy. We get a glimpse of how the writer wants to be remembered.  This is expressed through the line:

You will hear thunder and remember me,
And think she wanted storms.

This shows she wants to be remembered as a revolutionary and someone who wanted change. Though these changes may be violent and disruptive  and also inflict fear.

Another line which illustrates the legacy of the writer as someone who was committed to change is illustrated below:

And hasten to the heights that I have longed for
Leaving my show still to be with you.

Poetic Techniques

The poem uses vivid descriptions. The description which resonates with me the most is about the sky which is described as:

the color of hard crimson,

This is symbolic of the bloodshed under Stalin’s leadership. The effect of this blood shed is that inevitably that people’s heart will be on fire. This means when the killings and violence is rampant, then can people’s heart will be passionate about wanting change.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Two- The Stages of Negativity By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty Two- The Stages of Negativity By Hannah Williams

Lost. 
In the deep sea of my own desire.
In the fortitude of peace my soul longs to retire.
Hope is the song my voice wants to acquire.
Inhaling the laziness of my acts as I respire.

Toxic
To the progression around me.
The doubtful thoughts of my mind roam free.
Let my thoughts just be.

Doubt
Can I really do what I say I can?
What happened to actions? What happened to plans?
Hope my dreams does not have a life span?
I did what I could – I ran!

Action
I’ll just do whatever it is
Slowly but surely and I certainly will win.
The bubble of negativity is starting to fizz.
Discarding my thoughts of failure into the mind’s bin.

 

 

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty One- The Dreamers Song By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty One- The Dreamers Song By Hannah Williams

Dreams soar high on the mountain top.
Holding onto hope so it never drops.
Liberty flowing in harmony with the river bed.
Calling courage to forget what the valley said.

This is the hopes and dreams of men.
Forever, now and even then.
Waiting for the fortitude of the unspoken.
Healing the sorrows of the broken.

Dreams soar high on the mountain top.
Holding onto hope so it never drops.
Liberty flowing in harmony with the river bed.
Calling courage to forget what the valley said.

This is the chorus and symphony of the weary.
Those unfixable in theory.
Whose spirit knows hurt and melancholies?
But their soul knows endless melodies.

Dreams soar high on the mountain top.
Holding onto hope so it never drops.
Liberty flowing in harmony with the river bed.
Calling courage to forget what the valley said.

Whisper to the wind your worries.
Let the elements thrust it through its flurries.
The pain you once knew is shattered
Soon none of it will have mattered.

Still, dreams soar high on the mountain top.
Holding onto hope so it never drops.
Liberty flowing in harmony with the river bed.
Calling courage to forget what the valley said.

 

 

An Analysis Of ‘In My Name’ By Grace Nichols

An Analysis Of ‘In My Name’ By Grace Nichols
Heavy with child
belly
an arc
of black moon
I squat over
dry plantain leaves
and command the earth
to receive you
in my name
in my blood
to receive you
my curled bean
my tainted
perfect child
my bastard fruit
my seedling
my sea grape
my strange mullato
my little bloodling
Let the snake slipping in deep grass
be dumb before you
Let the centipede writhe and shrivel
in its tracks
Let the evil one strangle on his own tongue
even as he sets his eyes upon you
For with my blood
I have cleansed you
and with my tears
I’ve pooled the river Niger
now my sweet one it is for you to swim
Grace Nichols

This compelling piece written by Grace Nichols deals with a variety of different themes such as freedom and motherhood. This blog post will explore these two themes to the poem. To begin with, an exploration of what the poem is about will be made. Then, the poetic devises will be analysed along with the poetic structure and the message of the poem.

What is this poem about?

To me, this poem is about a slave woman who gave birth to a child. A ‘mullato’ which is a term referring to children with white and black ancestry. We can infer that this child is a ‘bastard’ which illustrates how the child was not born to the woman’s husband but perhaps to a slave master. To further support this interpretation, we can deduce that the child may be born on a plantation field or in a similar surrounding where there are ‘dry plantain leaves’ for the mother to squat over and give birth.

Despite the harsh conditions in which the child is born, we can infer a mother’s prayer for the child’s safety. She prays the following:

  • Let the snake slipping in deep grass
    be dumb before you
  • Let the centipede writhe and shrivel
    in its tracks
  • Let the evil one strangle on his own tongue
    even as he sets his eyes upon you

This is a prayer because of the use of the word ‘let’ which helps her forbid the conditions that her child may go through. These phrases can be taken as literal events which the child could go through or a figurative speech of the harms and dangers in the world in which a mother doesn’t want their child to go through. The use of the repetition helps emphasise the mother’s awareness of the cruelty of the world.

Structure

This poem is written as a free verse which means that it doesn’t follow a particular rhyming pattern or stanza structure. This poem is written as a free verse to illustrate that the woman is free to be herself with her child. This is the only moment in which she experiences freedom. Alternatively, it could be seen as an irony in her situation where she may never experience freedom and the poem is her freedom.

Poetic Devices

Repetition: The use of repetition such as ‘my bastard fruit/my seedling/my sea grape/my strange mullato/ my little bloodling’ helps illustrate the negative, neutral and endearing feeling all simultaneously in which the mother feels about the child.  We are aware of the conditions in which the child is born, therefore, this repetition materialises all her feeling in one short stanza.

Alliteration:  In the beginning of the poem the use of alliteration in the line ‘belly…an arc
of black moon’. This alliteration helps consolidate the beautiful imagery of pregnancy and the ‘b’ sound helps illustrate how brave the woman is.

Message

This poem helps illustrate that a mother’s nurture, guidance and prayer can take you to a certain point. At that point, there will be a moment in time where it is ‘for you to swim’ even if your mothers efforts, hardships and guidance has  ‘pooled’ the ‘tears’.

Thank you very much for reading.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty- What The Dream Taught Me By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twenty- What The Dream Taught Me By Hannah Williams

A dream is a living legacy which cannot be killed by death.
Transcends emancipation.
It transcends liberty.
In fact, it transcend freedom.
That I can hope for freedom within my constraints.
He taught me.
In the content of your character lies the change.
That after death your legacy can live on.
The man with a dream taught me this.

 

 

An Analysis of ‘Along The Road’ By Robert Browning Hamilton

An Analysis of ‘Along The Road’ By Robert Browning Hamilton
I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chattered all the way,
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne’er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me!
Robert Browning Hamilton

In the first stanza, when the poet refers to Pleasure we can see that  that the personification of pleasure fulfils its attributes. Pleasure is presented as chatty, communicative and free to express herself. However, from this piece we can deduct that with pleasure nothing is really understood or grasped in her company. This is exemplified through the line ‘But left me none the wiser for all she had to say’.

In contrast, we are introduced to the personification of sorrow. She is the complete opposite of Pleasure as ‘she ‘ne’er said a word’. Yet, we are able to grasp that you can learn from sorrow in moments of silence, sobriety and sadness. There are lessons to be learnt when experiencing sorrow.

This pieces uses juxtaposition to teach a powerful yet simple lesson that learning does not take place with pleasure but in sorrow. Furthermore, this piece indicates that wisdom rests in the hearts of those who do not always speak. Although pleasure conversed yet she was not understood whilst sorrow did not say alot but important lessons were ‘learned from her’.

Finally, this poem is  written as a quatrain which means it is a poem consisting of four lines. This is done to perhaps esteem the subject matter of Pleasure and Sorrow as equally important emotional entities. The rhyming pattern follows the structure of the second line rhyming with the last line. In both stanzas, this style of rhyme is honoured.

 

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Nineteen- Stages Of Denial By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Nineteen- Stages Of Denial By Hannah Williams

Stage one is characterised by fear.
The entity that floats to a mind.
Inviting itself in and out like a comfortable family friend.
It tells you what cripples you.
Debilitating your ability to trust yourself.
Once fear has marinated in your mind.
Then you can progress to the next stage.
Welcome to projecting your fear through bitterness.
You start telling others, you cannot do that.
The well- crafted response drown in ‘venomness’.
As fear told you, you decide to tell others.
Once you wallowed in your bitterness, progress in your denial.
Welcome to hatred.
For you can see a glimpse of their hope.
Flickering like flames on a candle.
Love is the light.
Hate is in your eyes.
Yet you know one is stronger.
And it’s not yours.
The hate eats every tissue, sinews and bones in your body.
Never finding the serenity in change.
You lie down each day telling yourself that life will always be this way.

An Analysis Of ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’ By Anon

An Analysis Of ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’ By Anon
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush.
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Anon

This blog post aims to analyse the poem ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’. To begin with I will be analysing the structure of the poem.

Structure

The structure of this poem is very simplistic. It is written in twelve lines with a smooth rhyming pattern of AABB. This helps the poem flow fluently and gives it a sense of coherency. In fact, the rhyme illustrates how clear the poet is on the matter of celebrating life rather than death. The use of the rhyme helps convey the importance of the poet’s interpretation in regards to the meaning of life.

Message

This poem conveys the writers view on grief and loss. In most situations when people are grieving they ‘stand by the grave and weep’. This is the instructions the poet gives on what people shouldn’t do when the writer dies. To begin the poem with instructions is a powerful device. This shows the writer is clear on this subject matter of death. To prove this expertise and understanding, the writer challenges conventional beliefs of death by stating that the writer is not ‘there’ and neither ‘asleep’. The main message in which the writer conveys is that death should be celebrated through aspects that bring life and memories. This is illustrated through the phrases of  personification the writ through nature such as:

  • a thousand winds that blow
  • diamond glints on snow.
  • sunlight on ripened grain.
  • gentle autumn rain.
  • the swift uplifting rush
  • quiet birds in circled flight.
  •  soft stars that shine at night.

These are all beautiful imagery which highlights the beauty in life and moments we admire. Like these vivid imagery, the writer also wants to their life to be remembered in the same manner.

Poetic Devices

  • Repetition: The use of repetition in phrases like ‘I am’ illustrates the poet’s strong sense of identity and confidence in her entities. Furthermore, the use of ‘Do Not…’ illustrates how the poet wants to be remember.
  • Alliteration: The use of the line ‘I am the soft stars that shine at night’ helps illustrate the softness of this imagery. It softens the sentence and makes it memorable.

Overall,  I believe this is a beautiful piece of poetry that is well written and encapsulate the celebration of life and challenges the conventional approach of what death and mourning means.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Eighteen- Why Live In Denial By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Eighteen- Why Live In Denial By Hannah Williams

Why live in denial?
When you could be free.
Why live in denial?
When you could just let situations be.
Why live in denial?
When you could focus your attention on more.
Why live in denial?
When you could see what the world has in store.
Why live in denial?
When you could transcend?
Why live in denial?
When what is broken can be mend.
Why live in denial?
When it is easier to persevere.
Denial is looking back with a heart full of fear.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Seventeen- Dreaming In Denial By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Seventeen- Dreaming In Denial By Hannah Williams

Denial is saying yes when you mean no.
Whilst the choice rests with you.
The choice lies peacefully as you watch it sleep.
You dare not wake it up.
You dare not make a noise.
You leave it as it is.
Even though you know what to do.
Even though the power lies in your hand to make a change.
Even though it tears you up.
You let choice sleep on.
You let choice wake up on its own.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Sixteen– Community Observations By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Sixteen– Community Observations By Hannah Williams

 

We sit on benches
As the words in my throat clenches
Some on the field.
Where daisies and dandelions have yield.

We inhale the breeze
Our problems we release
Gone with the wind.
Because we sat on a field.

Music blaring loudly
Birds singing proudly.
Not that they know all the words
But their noise is not void.

Nature greets us well.
With lavenders, daisies and cherry blossom trees.
On this landscape no one is free.

In the year 2017
I have lost all that could have been.
My eyes have seen pain
But I hope it is not in vain.

In a community of labels,
Where its deemed no one is stable
I know in my heart I am able.

Tales of each person unknown
But our hearts cannot be made of stone.
Sinews, flesh, body, mind and bones.
Maybe in time tranquillity will lead us home.
For we cannot do this alone.

 

 

 

An Analysis of ‘Ask Me’ By William Stafford

An Analysis of ‘Ask Me’ By William Stafford
Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.
I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say
William Stafford (1974)

In this blog post, I will be critiquing the poem ‘Ask Me’ by William Stafford. To begin with, I will explore the structure of this poem.

Structure

This poem can be divided into two stanzas. Each stanza contains seven lines. This suggests that both aspects of the poem are equally important. The use of enjambment within the poem helps create a dramatic effect as it encourages seriousness and helps build up to the next line with ease. This poetic device also helps set the tone, mood and pace of the poem.

The first stanza is quite active. This can be demonstrated through the use of the words ‘Ask Me’. This phrase is used thrice which suggests that the poet is very certain of what he wants to be asked. The poet specifies the three main topics he wants to be asked about. These are his mistakes, whether what he did was ‘his life’ and the contribution of what others have made through their ‘strongest love and hate’.

The second stanza is passive. This can be demonstrated through the use of verbs like ‘listen’, ‘look’ and ‘wait’. This passiveness is as a result of the certainty in knowing the questions in which he tells the reader to ask in the first stanza.

Poetic Devices

Metaphor: The greatest metaphor in this poem is the river. What exactly does it symbolise?
In a literal sense, we can say the river is a large natural stream of water flowing in a channel to the sea, a lake, or another river. With this literal definition we can deduce an interpretation that the river is a journey. The final destination is the sea. Therefore, we can say the river symbolises our life journey until we reach our final destination which is death. However, the river in the poem is ice. This, therefore, suggests that when life is a different state of matter, we should ask the author about his mistakes, whether what he has done is his life and the differences people’s love and hate has made.

Oxymoron: The poem constantly uses oxymoron. In the first stanza the use of oxymoron helps the reader to understand the two types of people who have influenced the poet’s mind. These are people who ‘help’ or ‘hurt’ and those who brought their strongest ‘love’ or ‘hate’. In the second stanza there is also an equal use of oxymoron. This is displayed in the line ‘turn and look’ and description of the ‘coming and going’ of the silent river.

Repetition: In the first stanza, the word ask is repeated thrice. In a similar manner, the word say is repeated thrice in the second stanza. The development of ask to say illustrates that the answer is just as important as the question.

Message: This poem is about accountability. Why? Because we are accountable for our mistakes, as well as ensuring that what we have done is our life and how we have reacted to those who tried to help or hurt. This is because in the moment ‘that hold the stillness exactly before us’ which suggest that when we are conscious, assessing and meditating on our reflections we know what the answer is.This answer lies in what our river is. Therefore, what [our] rivers says (our conscience) is what we say.

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifteen- I Know Even Though I Don’t Live On The Estate By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fifteen- I Know Even Though I Don’t Live On The Estate By Hannah Williams

I know even though I don’t live on the estate.
Devolution is the politician’s word for recreate…
Rebrand and make the surrounding more upstate.
The only thing they’ll do is paint the gate.

I know even though I don’t live on the estate
Crime usually rises when it’s late
You’ve been hearing the sirens since you were eight
Hope it’s not for your best mate.

I know even though I don’t live on the estate
No one knows what each day awaits
Post code conflicts may give you a high heart rate
And you street sense reactions must be innate

I know even though I am not from the estate
So I don’t mean to berate
Most have resigned to their fate
They cannot do much but settle for this state.

An Analysis of ‘On My First Sonne’ By Ben Jonson

An Analysis of ‘On My First Sonne’ By Ben Jonson
This blog post will analyse the poem ‘On My First Sonne’ by Ben Jonson which is written below:
On My First Sonne
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov’d boy.
Seven yeeres tho’ wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O, could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon ‘scap’d world’s and flesh’s rage,
And if no other misery, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and, ask’d, say, “Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.”
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such,
As what he loves may never like too much.
Ben Jonson (1616)

Structure

The poetic structure of this poem can be summarised as consisting of 12 lines. The structure has a flowing rhyme pattern. It can also be said that this poem is well structured with a concise form relevant to the subject matter. The use of twelve lines illustrates how short-lived his son life was. It also illustrates how articulate and concise the writer is in expressing his loss. Alternatively, we can interpret the structure as an Eulogy.  Interestingly, I believe we can split the poem into three sections if we separate the poem by the first four lines.

Analysis

Section One

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov’d boy.
Seven yeeres tho’ wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.

The poem commences with a goodbye through the use of ‘farewell’. This beginning is quite compelling and helps us to understand that new beginnings sometimes need closure. He refers to his son as his right hand and joy. In the era in which the poem was written, the right hand would have been symbolic of strength, power and protection. Personally, I feel the right hand is a symbol of function as the usage of the hand is needed daily to complete activities. Therefore, he was needed and couldn’t be lived without.

The next line is a bitter line which states ‘my sinne was too much hope of thee, lov’d boy’. The use of sin suggests it was immoral of him to have high expectations, dreams and ambitions for his son which is a natural ‘hope’ that any parent would have toward their child. He acknowledges that it was too much to expect a future for his son.

The third line suggest his son was loaned to him and the moment in time they shared together is now a consequence he is paying for.  Perhaps, he is paying for the bond and connection they share.

The fourth line suggests that his death was accounted for by fate. This suggests that this is the father’s explanation for his son’s death. This helps add meaning and a form of reasoning in understanding and accepting that the son had to die because accepting fate as the explanation helps to lighten the load.

Section Two

O, could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon ‘scap’d world’s and flesh’s rage,
And if no other misery, yet age?

The line which grabs my attention in this poem is ‘Will man lament the state he should envy?’ To me this suggests, that perhaps we shouldn’t fear death or in the writers words ‘lament’ over death. It suggest we should envy those who have died and ‘escaped’ the ‘world’s’  and ‘flesh’s’ rage. This suggest that those who have died have indeed escaped misery whilst the alive are to yet ‘age’.

Section Three

Rest in soft peace, and, ask’d, say, “Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry.”
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such,
As what he loves may never like too much.

In the final lines of the poem, he refers to his son as his best piece of poetry. He acknowledges his son as his best piece of work. This shows how much he esteemed his son. Therefore, he leaves us with a ‘vow’ which is whatever he loves may he not ‘like too much’. This suggest that the writer will never hold anything in value or in high regards because the only thing in which he did is now gone.

Thank you for reading!

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fourteen– No Job For Jack By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Fourteen– No Job For Jack By Hannah Williams

Defying the estate stereotype,
Jack decided to be the perfect prototype.
He went to university.
Just to face employment adversity.

He worked too hard.
But the economy is bad.
He gave education all he had.
First class university grad.
Unemployment makes him sad.
Whilst Brad just asked his dad.

A myriad of applications sent.
Interviews came and went.
On interview attires all his money he spent.
These rejection are becoming too frequent.

So what’s poor Jack got to do?
Lost in life, he hasn’t got a clue.
The corporate dream he had outgrew,
Corporate companies don’t want people like you.
For your life, experiences and struggles make you true.

Three years wasted and nothing to show
Life has dealt him a hard blow
He took the modules for all he needed to know
Meritocracy kept telling him to go
Looking back now you can’t change the status quo
He should have given up ages ago.

How To Prepare For Success

How To Prepare For Success

Preparing for success is one of the best things you can do for yourself . Why? Because if you prepare for success, you are building the foundations of maintaining it. So here are three aspects in which you need to be mindful of when preparing for success:

1. Reputation: The term reputation refers to how others view you. To escalate this, we could say reputation is essentially your brand identity. It is often easier to project a professional brand identity  than it is displaying your brand identity on a personal level. Unfortunately, as I am learning, both intersect and it is imperative to view them holistically rather than separate entities. To prepare well for success, both the private and the public need to be portrayed positively or at least with a premeditated awareness on how you wish to portray yourself.

Reputation is your brand identity as a professional or social curriculum vitae.
~Hannah Williams

2. Habits: The habits you develop now are what will either make or break you when you’re successful. Habits can be categorised into three categories which are good, bad and neutral habits. The secret lies in ensuring that the neutral habits are made good, reducing the bad habits and not exhausting the good habits. How can you tell which habits are good, bad or neutral? The answer lies within and it is often based on the outcome it produces. For some people, procrastination is a neutral habit. Why? Because it helps them perform well under pressure especially in a short period of time. To make this habit good, it would be effective to achieve an equilibrium in procrastination where it is not too tasking but allows a sufficient amount of time to achieve what you need to do. However, if you find yourself leaving tasks till the last minute then procrastination would be a bad habit for you. Habit is also about frequency and how quickly you utilise these traits. Understanding yourself is the key to managing your habits.

Conquer your bad habits, develop your neutral habits and maintain your good habits
~Hannah Williams

3. Time:  The activities, events and experience that preoccupies our time often tells us how well we can manage our success.To effectively manage time, you have to value it. Therefore, when preparing for success it is important we learn to allocate our time to work, leisure and other important aspect of life in which we value and be understanding of how you allocate it.

Master time before you become a slave to time
~Hannah Williams

To summarise, the preparation of success lies in how you manage your reputation, construct your habits and allocate your time.

 

 

 

An Analysis of ‘My Father Is A Retired Magician’ By Dr. Ntozake Shange

An Analysis of ‘My Father Is A Retired Magician’ By Dr. Ntozake Shange

In this blog post, an analysis of the poem ‘My Father Is A Retired Magician’ will be made. The poem commence with this:

my father is a retired magician
which accounts for my irregular behavior
everythin comes outta magic hats
or bottles wit no bottoms & parakeets
are as easy to get as a couple a rabbits
or 3 fifty cent pieces/ 1958

From this opening we can deduce that the father’s occupation affects the narrator’s behaviour. The writer describes what the profession entails as ‘everythin comes outta magic hats and bottles wit no bottoms’. This typically would be classed as ‘white magic’ but we know the writer’s father is a black magician because of the sociolect of the poem which resembles the Southern twang in America in which Shange often writes in. There is also a subtle device in setting the scene. The writer wants us to know to that this piece is set in America in ‘1958’.

my daddy retired from magic & took
up another trade cuz this friend of mine
from the 3rd grade asked to be made white
on the spot

In this next aspect of the poem, I have two interpretations.
The first interpretation is that it shows the severity of racism and how children as young as the third grade are aware of race structures. It highlights that even children can recognise the ‘dominant’ race.
The second interpretation to this is that only magic can transcend the impossible. This means the child making the request believes magic will change things and make what is impossible (changing race) to possible. This shows her faith in magic can break that racial barriers. However, we know the magician cannot do this as this is the very reason he has retired.

 

what cd any self-respectin colored american magician
do wit such a outlandish request/ cept
put all them razzamatazz hocus pocus zippity-do-dah
thingamajigs away cuz
colored chirren believin in magic
waz becomin politically dangerous for the race
& waznt nobody gonna be made white
on the spot just
from a clap of my daddy’s hands

The next part of this poem acknowledges that it is a ‘outlandish request’. However as the poem progresses, this is a common problem. This is expressed in the line ‘colored chirren believin in magic’. This suggest that this mentality that it takes magic to overcome racial adversity is something that is common but also ‘politically dangerous for the race’. However, this begs the question of is it dangerous for all races? Or just the black race?
Personally, I believe it was gravitating towards the latter because ‘nobody’ black will be made ‘white’ by the clap of her father’s hands.

& the reason i’m so peculiar’s
cuz i been studyin up on my daddy’s technique
& everythin i do is magic these days
& it’s very colored
very now you see it/ now you
dont mess wit me
i come from a family of retired
sorcerers/ active houngans & pennyante fortune tellers
wit 41 million spirits critturs & celestial bodies
on our side
i’ll listen to yr problems
help wit yr career yr lover yr wanderin spouse
make yr grandma’s stay in heaven more gratifyin
ease yr mother thru menopause & show yr son
how to clean his room

The influence of the narrator’s father is highlighted in this part of the poem again. There is an element of blame that her father made her strange, weird or rather ‘peculiar’. The narrator realises that everything she does is coloured. It is a ‘now you see it/ now don’t mess with it’. This highlights the intensity and seriousness of black magic. The genealogy of the narrator is also revealed which suggests she is accustomed to magic especially with the ’41 million critturs & celestial bodies’ on our (black people) sides. This show how often we need number on our side.  More importantly, with her black magic, she lists the problems of the community which are: unemployment (help wit yr career), love, wanderin spouses, death, womanly issues and family.

YES YES YES 3 wishes is all you get
scarlet ribbons for yr hair
benwa balls via hong kong
a miniature of machu picchu

In this section, we get a reference to Asian magic through mention of ‘benwa balls from Hong Kong. As well as a South American mention of ‘machu picchu’. The belief of magic is universal and worldwide through the narrator’s eyes.

all things are possible
but aint no colored magician in her right mind
gonna make you white
i mean
this is blk magic
you lookin at
& i’m fixin you up good/ fixin you up good n colored
& you gonna be colored all yr life
& you gonna love it/ bein colored/ all yr life/ colored & love it
love it/ bein colored/
Spell #7 from Upnorth-Outwest Geechee Jibara Quik Magic Trance Manual for Technologically Stressed Third World People

The final aspect of the poem finally reveals the mesage that the magic lies with being black. Being black and coloured all your life should be what you love and appreciate. She adds a juxaposition of humour and reality to the line ‘Spell #7 from Upnorth-Outwest Geechee Jibara Quik Magic Trance Manual for Technologically Stressed Third World People’ to show that being black in Africa is more difficult and stressful in comparison to their African-American counterpart. This simply illustrates that the situation ‘could be worst’.

 

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirteen – If The Community Had Spoken By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Thirteen – If The Community Had Spoken By Hannah Williams

Our people are broken;
But what would happen if the community had spoken?
If it had said we are here for the mental,
Our hearts won’t be judgemental.

Our people are broken;
But what would happen if the community had spoken?
And said we are here for single mums.
We saw your journey we know where you’re coming from.

Our people are broken
But what would happen if the community had spoken?
We are here for those with criminal records.
We’ll help you achieve all the good you work towards.

Our people are broken
But what would happen if the community had spoken?
To those who face unemployment issues
And just offered them a shoulder to cry and a box of tissues.

Our people are broken;
But what would happen if the community had spoken?
For the small children who face hunger day to day
And spoke to the government to have their say.

Our people are broken;
But what would happen if the community had spoken?
For our elderly whose water bill run high
And asked the electricity companies why.

Our people are broken;
But what would happen if the community had spoken?
Maybe our people will be less heartbroken
And unity will be our token.

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twelve- Important Nothings By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Twelve- Important Nothings By Hannah Williams

I remember putting so much effort into childhood and youth.
For I perceived it as the core of my root.
Especially if I wanted to live a life worth remembering.
My efforts had to be enduring.
I needed to stand the test of time.
So that adulthood would turn out fine.

Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Twelve- Important Nothings By Hannah Williams”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Eleven- Stones By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Eleven- Stones By Hannah Williams

 

I rested calmly by the sea shore.
Content with where I am I dare not ask for more.
Until the day I was picked up from the beach floor.
To skid upon the water like one, two, three  and four.
So I discovered life anew.
Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Eleven- Stones By Hannah Williams”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Ten- The Elements By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Ten- The Elements By Hannah Williams

The Elements

By Hannah Williams©

 

What is beneath the soil?
Is it gold? Is it minerals? Is it oil?
To which the locals under the sun toil.
For the rich man to gather his spoil.

What is above the air?
Is it justice? Is it equity? Is it fair?
Does everybody get an equal share?
Can everyone thrive here?

What is the fire that spurs out flame?
Is it hot? Is it bright? Is it burning with an aim?
Does it burn down the bridges called blame?
Can we know it by its name?

Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Ten- The Elements By Hannah Williams”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Nine-Mars and Venus By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Nine-Mars and Venus By Hannah Williams

Men are from Mars.
Women are from Venus.
So who lives on earth?

Men are from Mars.
Women are from Venus.
So tell me, who or what lives in Uranus?

Men are from Mars.
Women are from Venus.
When will all the planet relieve us?

Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Nine-Mars and Venus By Hannah Williams”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Eight-Small But Mighty By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Eight-Small But Mighty By Hannah Williams

A grain in the Sahara is me.
Take a handful to see.
That I am distinct.
But me and the sand dune are linked.
For a heap of sand forms the sand dune.
Ready to dance to the wind’s tune. Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Eight-Small But Mighty By Hannah Williams”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Seven- Empire State Of London (An Interlude To Society) By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Seven- Empire State Of London (An Interlude To Society) By Hannah Williams

A city where dreams can be snatched.
Even when your ambition is matched.
Your dreams mean nothing in the city.
And from the people don’t expect pity.

Knife crime and teen violence are on the rise.
When will we learn to stop acting surprise.
For the kids imitate role models from the street.
Because they rap about violence to a good beat. Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Seven- Empire State Of London (An Interlude To Society) By Hannah Williams”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Six- The English Dream By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Six- The English Dream By Hannah Williams

I walk by Aylestone meadow.
Where birds sing and the tree’s follow.
The woodland’s air I breathe
The canal bed walks like me.

I meander with each bend
For the crevasses and cracks on the path like me need a mend.
Me and nature are at one.
Till the trail is dead and gone. Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Six- The English Dream By Hannah Williams”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Five- Until We Killed Me By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Five- Until We Killed Me By Hannah Williams

At this hour I learnt to weep silently.
Sitting in the silence.
Speaking with my darkness.
My remedy for a broken heart.
A heart that had nothing but love to give.
It bleeds… now.
Has a rhythm of your rejection.
A symptom of neglection. Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Five- Until We Killed Me By Hannah Williams”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Four- Moodiness (I Wore It As A Dress) By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Four- Moodiness (I Wore It As A Dress) By Hannah Williams

I wore moodiness as a dress.
With a matching headband called stress,
My handbag conceals my emotions which are a mess.
But my shoes point me to a road which reads confess.

You’d be surprised to hear what the world sell.
And how many people fell
For buying this dress called moodiness is expensive.
The after effects are not euphoria but apathetic and apprehensive.

So what led me to buy these things?
Well I brought it because my emotions stings
The dress I brought did cling to my hip.
But the tag did say it may cause me to flip. Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Four- Moodiness (I Wore It As A Dress) By Hannah Williams”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Three- Love (Within Me) By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Three- Love (Within Me) By Hannah Williams

 

I know there is love within me.
I know its there but others cannot see.
For this love is an entity.
That transforms my identity.

I know there is love within me.
I know it’s there but others cannot see.
For this love knows my history.
So it knows how to silence my minds endless philosophy.

I know there is love within me.
I know it’s there but others cannot see.
It is a love that accepts my biology
But its constrained by time and space so I guess it knows my geography. Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Three- Love (Within Me) By Hannah Williams”

Project Two and Three: A Tablet Cover and Phone Cover

Project Two and Three: A Tablet Cover and Phone Cover

The next project in my art and craft series is the matching tablet cover and phone cover.

To create your own, you will need a sewing machine, scissors, fabric, iron and pins.

STEP ONE: Cut your fabric into two separate squares. (Make sure they are large enough to fit your tablet)

img_0069.jpg Continue reading “Project Two and Three: A Tablet Cover and Phone Cover”

Sunday Stanza: Poem Two- Lonely Ocean By Hannah Williams

Sunday Stanza: Poem Two- Lonely Ocean By Hannah Williams

I’m a lonely ocean.
Kissing the shore.
Moving with its motions.
Longing for more.

I’m a lonely ocean.
Looking for the sea.
To carry away my emotion.
Till I discover me. Continue reading “Sunday Stanza: Poem Two- Lonely Ocean By Hannah Williams”

A Critique Of ‘My Guilt’ Poem By Dr. Maya Angelou

A Critique Of ‘My Guilt’ Poem By Dr. Maya Angelou

My Guilt

By Dr. Maya Angelou

My guilt is “slavery’s chains,” too long
the clang of iron falls down the years.
This brother’s sold, this sister’s gone,
is bitter wax, lining my ears.
My guilt made music with the tears.

My crime is “heroes, dead and gone,”
dead Vesey, Turner, Gabriel,
dead Malcolm, Marcus, Martin King
They fought too hard, the loved too well.
My crime is I’m alive to tell.

My sin is “hanging from a tree,”
I do not scream, it makes me proud.
I take to dying like a man.
I do it to impress the crowd.
My sin lies in not screaming loud.

This blog post aims to critique and analyse the poem entitled ‘ My Guilt’ which was written by the late Dr. Maya Angelou. In order to do this effectively,  the structure of the poem will be discussed and the theme and the message will be explored. Continue reading “A Critique Of ‘My Guilt’ Poem By Dr. Maya Angelou”

Project One: Creating A Bookmark

Project One: Creating A Bookmark

Today I decided to embark on a creative process by creating an over-the-book bookmark. To create your own, you will need: A sewing machine, a piece of fabric, scissors, elastic band and an iron. The process of creating your own is written below in these six easy steps.

STEP ONE: Fold and Iron the First Half of the Fabric.

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STEP TWO: Sew Over The First Half Of the Fabric.

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STEP THREE: Fold the Fabric in Half Again and Iron

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STEP FOUR: Sew Over The Edge of the Folded Fabric

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STEP FIVE: Cut Your Elastic Band

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STEP SIX: Sew Your Elastic Band  In The Folded Fabric

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FINISHED PRODUCT 

 

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