Poetry is not something I pick up very much but in the past 4 years I’ve had the pleasure of reading some fantastic poetry collections. This year has started with Dear Ancestors Poems & Reflections on the African Diaspora by CP Patrick, author of the compelling novel The Truth About Awiti. There are poems in this collection that come from The Truth About Awiti. I strongly recommend you check it out because it is quite the story with a dash of fantasy and deals with the African diaspora and the transAtlantic slave trade.
It’s a slim collection containing only 58 pages, a short poem on each page. To the eye that would appear to be slither to discuss such a complex subject, but believe me it’s more than enough. From the first poem I was thrown into the African diaspora, my emotions rising within. I could put it down and when I did I had finished and reread it a second time.
The collection is structured in 4 parts – Home, Middle Passage/Second Home, Bondage, Freedom or Something Like It. The poems in each section are perfectly understandable. These poems are not obscure or difficult to understand. They are written with nuance and a perspective that will touch you before you realize it. These poems made me reflect but also made me remember how proud I am to be black. I come from strong people. People that have a history that doesn’t just start with slavery.
The fact that CP Patrick begins the collection with poems from the section Home that cherishes the beginnings of black people in Africa – free with their own lives and customs, good and bad, exhibits her desire to tell our entire story.
“if but for a moment
descending from the heavens
leaving the safety of my warm womb
you saw this sad world
and changed your mind”
- CP Patrick, Dear Ancestors Poems & Reflections on the African Diaspora, p. 28
If you’d like to pick up a copy of Dear Ancestors or any of my other recommendations please consider clicking my affiliate link for The Book Depository. It would be much appreciated. It will help fund my incessant book buying, reading, and reviewing. Thank you!