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Review: When no one is Watching

Title: When No One Is Watching

Author: Linathi Makanda

Genre: Poetry

Publisher: Odessey Books
Published: January 28th 2020

Source: Publisher

Format: e-copy

Thanks again so much to Odessey Books for reaching out to me and providing an e-copy in exchange for an honest review! This hasn’t affected my opinion which is unbiased and honest.

Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis (Blue)When No One Is Watching is a compilation of poems about love and the loss thereof, trauma and the dark reflections that come with it. It is a depiction of sides that people don’t readily show, sides of vulnerability, insecurity and tiny amounts of hope. One could say it is the result of shedding light into a world of secrecy, escapism, an alternate reality belonging to an alternate version of an individual.

When No One Is Watching is the truth in its purest form.

Amazon link: bookgoodies.com/a/192231109X

My Thoughts (Blue)

Poetry is always something so very personal. Every word counts and was selected with care and love. I rarely pick up poetry collections because I’m always afraid of being let down, of having too high expectations to be moved and touched deeply.

I’m so happy to tell you all that I loved Linathi Makanda’s work immensely. Her poems are so raw and personal and the whole collection feels like she takes you by your hand and leads you through her life and her emotions. That’s a very special gift.

With poems so intimate comes always the risk of people not being able to relate and therefore not being moved by them. But while I certainly couldn’t relate to a lot of them, they 100% still moved and touched me. You can feel how much they mean to Linathi Makanda, you can see the pain and hope beneath the words shimmering through and I was unable to escape their pull.

Some poems though where incredible relatable and I felt so seen and understood and that is the true power of words, isn’t it? To not feel alone in your experiences and emotions? To find companionship, hope and healing.
No matter if we had wildly different lifes, there are always moments that we all experience, emotions we all feel. I don’t think I can say it better than the author herself:

For you.

You will find traces of yourself here
In some pages, more than others.
But this is your home now.
Explore it.
Bleed in it.
Cry in it.

When No One Is Watching is divided into 4 parts: Love Rising, Love Lost, Internal Uprising and Hope Rising. And each one touched me more than the previous one. I fell in love with her writing more with each page I turned.

Each of her poems is so raw. Personal, broken, hopeful .. all in one.
I want to share my two favourite poems with you so you can see for yourself what I mean.

My first ever best friend was a boy who I later fell deeply in love with. He wrote peoms almost as beautiful as him and I was always conflicted about which to love the most. Our fathers were both absent so we knew better than to ever leave each other behind, but life was never kind to me.
So one day, I woke up and all I had was poetry and prose while he gave all he had to someone else.

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Sometimes I wonder if I had seen too much, heard too much
More than you would’ve liked me to
More than I wouldn’ve liked to.
Is that why you keep running?
Am I touching places you had convinced yourself died a long time ago?
Are they coming back to life?
Are you scared?

You shouldn’t be.

I wanted to include so many more poems here in this review because I can never adequately describe these poems, this whole collection. Because while you can read each on its own, they all come together and tell a journey and are so much more beautiful, touching and powerful when read one after the other! But you’ll have to experience that for yourself.

Especially the last section is so empowering, it’s hopeful and strong. It’s a love letter to everyone who fought life and endured and made it. To everyone who is still fighting every day to see the beauty around us. And a thank you to everyone who helps others, especially all the strong women around us.

I haven’t included the poem I related to the most because I get so many feelings when reading it and I think it’s best read with the other poems around it in a quiet and comfortable moment.

But to close this review, one last one, because I love the message:

Find love and art in everything that exists on Earth,
including yourself.

Author Bio

Linathi Thabang Makanda is a twenty-two-year-old South African-based writer of poetry and prose. A Communications and Marketing student and self-taught photographer, she strives to portray genuine emotion through her writing and photographic art. An avid reader, Linathi also has a great interest in music and all forms of visual expression.

4 thoughts on “Review: When no one is Watching

  1. This is a beautiful review, I don’t read that many poetry collections for the same reason as you were wary to pick this one up but I will keep this in mind for when I’m feeling in a poetry mood because I think I would like it!

    Liked by 1 person

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