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Still Living on my Feet Perfect Paperback – May 9, 2007

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Still Living on my Feet is Tichaona Chinyelu s second book of poetry. In this book, Tichaona touches on a variety of subjects such as revolutionary love, humor, relationships and sisterhood. The messages depicted within the contexts of the poems are very vivid and thought provoking. Some of my favorite poems include The Light of Libation, Beauty, Sister Speak, and Sister Speak II. The cover design which was created by David Lockett of David Lockett Designs, Inc., speaks for itself. It is a strong portrayal of African-American culture, tradition, roots and ancestry. What particularly drawn me to this book, was the title, it is very abstract, but yet powerful. Sometimes in life, when we feel the battles have been us down, we have to stand and live on our feet, or we can allow them to beat us down. It is clearly evident that Tichaona has experienced life s trials and tribulations and remains standing strong in the midst of life s obstacles. Five Stars Rating Reviewed by Afrika Midnight Asha Abney --www.authorsden.com/afrikamaabney

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 77 pages
  • Publisher: Whirlwind Publishing; 1st edition (May 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978935519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978935511
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Format: Perfect Paperback
"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees."

So reads the inscription at the beginning of "Still Living on my Feet," aptly summing up the spirit and essence of this beautiful volume of poetry by the wonderfully talented poet, Ms. Tichaona Chinyelu, whose work I became familiar with by reading her blog at [...].

I had ordered this book a while ago, and since then have been trying to find a way to express its diversity of style and subject matter, its energy and cadence, and the beauty of the poetry itself. I haven't found a way to fully express it, but will simply say that I love this book of poetry, which one must read to fully appreciate.

Tichaona has a rhythm and style to her writing, which just pull the reader along...I could not put the book down.

In many of her poems, Tichaona exhibits a playfulness with words, which makes reading them a joyful experience, as in the poem "The Daily Grind," a sweet and intimate poem on lovemaking.

Many of the poems in "Still Living on my Feet" tell introspective stories, as they regard themes such as love, belonging, racism, gender, or the searing multigenerational effects of colonialism. Some sound as if they are autobiographical, as Tichaona goes from being a teen to a young woman to a mother, and in other poems, she is walking a mile in others' shoes, which she seems to do with clarity and insight.

One of my favorite poems in this collection, "Amandla Awethu I," takes place in Soweto in 1976. Each stanza, written in the voices of the young people, is followed by a one- or two-line response, the voices of their parents, combining to form a wonderful, mesmerizing poem, which moves my heart each time I read it.

Thank you, Ms. Tichaona Chinyelu, for sharing your beautiful and insightful writing with us! You are an amazingly talented writer, with a unique voice and vision to share with the world.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Tichaona Chinyelu is a writer I met years ago online. It was around Thanksgiving and I happened across a poem she had written that cast that holiday for me into an entirely different light. Being of mixed heritage myself, Black, Blackfoot and Cherokee Indian and according to family lore, also a little French, one might think the words of a true "Revolutionary" might offend me or not be something which I myself could really relate to. They would also be wrong. My take on things is that yes, I believe in the possible goodness of all people, but I also feel I can write from the vantage point of all people. Often I write about the injustices that have taken place for the same reason I believe Tichaona Chinyelu writes about them; we need to remember; we need those who aren't aware to know what our true history is; we need remembrance and awareness because, devoid of that, the world is seen in a false light. Racism ends up as being seen as something from the past by those who aren't aware of its sometimes subtle shifts to conform to our times.

In "Still Living On My Feet" Tichaona Chinyelu proves yet again why one can put any of her works up against Nikki Giovanni's and they will more than hold their own. She is a writer and poet that handles words like a fine artist handles paints and she does so with insight, intelligence and mastery of her craft. In reading "Amandla Awethu I", I was taken from my home into the land of Africa to be present for "Apartheid" through its words. Lines like "Our children shamed us" and "Our children shamed us into defending them" seemed to reach out across the vast ocean and slap me in my face. What was endured by our ancestors here is in so many ways what has been, and is being, endured on the motherland as well.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
Still Living on My Feet by Tichaona Chinyelu will have the reader citing the poetry out loud, and saying, `Yes' throughout the too few pages. While reading some of the poems I was carried back in time. `Sister Speaks' had me in the midst of slavery, reliving what happened to a people. `Without Each Other' spoke poignantly to the pain a devalued Sister can feel. `Sick Child', brought me to tears with simplicity, yet a heartrending message. There were times while reading I could literally visualize Angela Davis with her fist raised, while hearing the sweet voice of Nina Simone bringing us soulful music. Ms. Chinyelu is a poet for the ages, her words making one angry, sad, energized and pleased all at once.

Every poetry lover should have a copy of Still Living on My Feet. However, this book is recommended to all readers of all races, because the messages are timely and heartfelt. After reading twice, I knew I would seek her first book, In the Whirlwind. The only issue I had with this book was there were not enough pages. This reader plans to read this over and over again. Kudos Ms. Chinyelu.

Angelia Menchan
APOOO BookClub
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