This review, like the book itself, will be short and sweet. Legends with dreams is less than 100 pages long but it contains a whole lot of wisdom, social commentary and inspiration within it.
I know that spoilers aren't a thing many people are afraid of when it comes to poetry collections but I think that there is a kind of magic that happens when you read a body of work like this one for the first time. For that reason, this review is spoiler free and therefore a little bit vague.
I will throw in some quotes, though. Just so you know what you are in for...
Now, let's get into it.
Here is what I liked about this book:
They have the money, economics. We have the quarrel, politics - Mandipa T. Shumba
One of the reasons I wanted to read this book is the person behind it. Mandipa T. Shumba is an African woman at heart and a Zimbabwean by nationality and I was hoping to see that in her work. I wanted poetry that would speak to the very real issues that plague our continent as a result of our history and I was not disappointed.
I could feel the fact that these were the words of a black woman. A person who has seen what where we are and imagined where we could be.
If I had a choice I would implement my plans - Mandipa T. Shumba
That said, this book did not feel political. Shumba addresses politics, yes but she also talks about disease, history, morality and growth. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. The author begins by talking about freedom ( or our lack of it rather) before moving on to the blissful ignorance that too many of us live in and then the strength we can find in our passion.
Many of the poems in this collection are relatable. Not only to the African youth but to anyone who has questions about our current society and their place in it.
Now, what I did not like:
They wasted their youth on cocaine, tobacco and fornication - Mandipa T. Shumba
This is one of those it's not you, it's me situations that sometimes happen with books. A few poems in this collection just didn't sit right with me because they felt a little preachy. I think that some of them were meant to be cautionary tales but the choice of words felt a little too religious for my liking.
Lastly, the last chapter of this book left me a little confused. Every other part of this book felt tied together despite the poems being about different things but with 'talent and ability', the last chapter of this book, I couldn't really tell if the message was one of hope or simply acceptance that this is what life is.... but that could be one of those things that I will figure out the next time I read it.
overall, I think this is a collection of poem that you want to get your hands on. If only because it is the kind of book that sparks great conversations and encourages the exchange of brilliant ideas.
You can reach out to the author through here for your copy. It will be available to the public on September 15th, 2019.
Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.