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Please, Take Photographs by Sindiwe Magona
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Please, Take Photographs (edition 2009)

by Sindiwe Magona

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Member:whitewavedarling
Title:Please, Take Photographs
Authors:Sindiwe Magona
Info:Modjaji Books (2009), Paperback, 82 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:Poetry, African Literature

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Please, Take Photographs by Sindiwe Magona

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While Magona's fiction has a poetic tone, and unquestionable originality, I have to admit that I found both these qualities lacking in her poetry. Many of the poems came across as short socio-politically themed speeches or monologues, with little poetry in the language or the direct expression, aside from the line breaks. While there were some few moments that struck me, much of the poetry came across as overly didactic or melodramatic, leaving all of the wrong elements to the imagination. Her fiction is so concrete as to paint wonderful illustrations of the most beautiful and horrible scenes alike, but this same level of detail was nearly entirely absent from the poetry. I hate to say it, but much of the poetry actually came across as somewhat amateurish, and was a huge disappointment.

Certainly, the poems clearly paint issues and express emotion about situations and events which should be seen and more widely discussed, so the work here is necessary in many ways, as literature may be the best way to educate the world about socio-political issues and problems that readers aren't personally familiar with. BUT, the problem here is that the poetry comes across as too simple, and as too much in that educational vein, to really reach readers on an emotional level (in most cases).

In the end, I would absolutely recommend Magona's work, but I would recommend her prose first. There are some few poems here which stand out beautifully as poems that should be read and shared, but they are so few and far between that, admittedly, I have to hesitate before recommending this particular example of her work. ( )
2 vote whitewavedarling | Jan 17, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0980272955, Paperback)

Sindiwe Magona's poems conspire with her. Even years after being written, they still seem warm from her lips, and it is this residue of her telling them that draws you into their confidence. From the languid innocence of the poems about her village, to her shattering images of Africa at war, Magona leads you headlong into her fireside circle where archetypes flicker like shadows on a face that has seen, and been. Please, Take Photographs is defiant and tender, horrific and homely, at once irreverent, outspoken and beautiful.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:34:58 -0400)

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