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A Lioness at My Heels [Paperback]

Robin Winckel-Mellish
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 15.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

18 Aug 2011
The hemispheric pull between Europe and Africa and the restlessness that results from inhabiting both worlds is reflected in A Lioness at my Heels. Robin Winckel-Mellish reconciles the muted tones of her Europe with the riotous colour of Africa. The immediacy, vividness and dustiness of the harsh African sun is carefully offset by the softer quality of the Netherlands. All poems are mediated and considered in the light of a spiritual home. Robin Winckel-Mellish lives in the Netherlands and runs a poetry critique group in Amsterdam. Her work has been published in many international literary journals. Her first collection, A Lioness at my Heels, explores living in Europe and being South African.

Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Modjaji Books (18 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1920397434
  • ISBN-13: 978-1920397432
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 13.1 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,145,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback
This collection of poems captures both a sense of belonging and an alienation of a European in Africa and an African in Europe, and the complexities that go with that situation. Exploring disconcerting fragments of a world where comfortable wealth lives side by side with stark poverty (The leaf-rakers) and a herdsman can become a world icon (Madiba), the poems echo with a melancholy yearning, a sense of loss and longing.

The collection also holds more personal reflections - the ambiguous emotions of releasing an ailing father into the hands of a carer, who is really a stranger (The caretaker); the similarities of family patterns, subtly changed over generations (Family) and reflecting both the strengthening bonds and limiting ties of a family; and the home comforts of a privileged childhood long gone (Old Rose.)

The beauty of these poems lie as much in what is not said, as what is: why does a wife lose a wedding ring not once, but three times (Ring). There are times, however, when the poems are perhaps too consciously crafted, which dulls the emotion of the words (Anniversary Eggs). But there are also poems where technique and feeling are seamlessly combined to create a wonderful reading experience (Crickets: "stiff-legged little bastards, dizzy with their own noise, frantic to tell the world how important they are").

Ultimately, every reader will find their own favourite poem in this diverse collection, which - much like the brilliant cover design - holds universal appeal while still being boldly South African.

My personal favourite is the beautiful "Cloud Cats," so evocative (The heavens are on safari ... cubs are playing roll over, rumble, rumble), and with a brilliant closing stanza, crammed with passion as powerful as any Highveld thunderstorm.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Holds universal appeal, while still being boldly South African 10 Jan 2014
By Judy Croome - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This collection of poems captures both a sense of belonging and an alienation of a European in Africa and an African in Europe, and the complexities that go with that situation. Exploring disconcerting fragments of a world where comfortable wealth lives side by side with stark poverty (The leaf-rakers) and a herdsman can become a world icon (Madiba), the poems echo with a melancholy yearning, a sense of loss and longing.

The collection also holds more personal reflections – the ambiguous emotions of releasing an ailing father into the hands of a carer, who is really a stranger (The caretaker); the similarities of family patterns, subtly changed over generations (Family) and reflecting both the strengthening bonds and limiting ties of a family; and the home comforts of a privileged childhood long gone (Old Rose.)

The beauty of these poems lie as much in what is not said, as what is: why does a wife lose a wedding ring not once, but three times (Ring). There are times, however, when the poems are perhaps too consciously crafted, which dulls the emotion of the words (Anniversary Eggs). But there are also poems where technique and feeling are seamlessly combined to create a wonderful reading experience (Crickets: “stiff-legged little bastards, dizzy with their own noise, frantic to tell the world how important they are”).

Ultimately, every reader will find their own favourite poem in this diverse collection, which - much like the brilliant cover design - holds universal appeal while still being boldly South African.

My personal favourite is the beautiful “Cloud Cats,” so evocative (The heavens are on safari … cubs are playing roll over, rumble, rumble), and with a brilliant closing stanza, crammed with passion as powerful as any Highveld thunderstorm.

This paperbook was bought in South Africa from Modjaji Books.
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