Poetry Love: Kumakanda



By: Kayo Chingonyi

Grade: A

I’ve really been delving into poetry the last little while and Kumakanda is a recent read and a collection that I really loved. Kumakanda is an initiation that a boy must pass through to be considered a man in the Luvale tribe.

Chingonyi’s work is a lot about the way he’s perceived, the loss of his parents, connections to his homeland and to England where he immigrated as a child. What really struck me what pulled me to it was also the music. Not just structure or overt references…

“In time, I could rattle off the Slim Shady LP line for line, though no amount of practice could conjure the pale skin and blue eyes that made Marshall a poet and me just another brother who could rhyme.”

I do wish I had picked up a physical copy of this instead of as an e-book and I will probably fix that in the future. (I like poetry in physical copies actually. You can mark them and have them for further reference far more easily.)

I like to read poems out loud as well (I’ll read parts of books out loud or lines from characters but thats a whole other story) and I could hear the rhythm and the music even in my reading which is not always the case. I also think the themes of the work (as well as the music of it) are very relatable to a poetry newcomer like myself.

This is a great collection overall and I will definitely read more of his work in the future. The work is deep and I also would recommend to anyone whose new to poetry or whose looking for more modern writing.

Recommend: Yes.

6 thoughts on “Poetry Love: Kumakanda

  1. I like to read poems out loud too. 😊 It’s something utterly beautiful when poems turn into music in my ears.
    I used to read poetry a bit as a teenager but haven’t read it much since then (long time lol). I’m starting to read it again and am intrigued by this collection. 👌😊

  2. It sounds great! I prefer my poetry in a physical book as well… Well, I pretty much prefer everything as a physical book, but ebooks are so much easier for getting quotes to my blog! 😕 Dilemmas….

    1. I do prefer physical books to I’ve noticed though that poetry can be pretty expensive for (usually) smaller books. Sometimes it’s like $20 and I’m going to be done with this in an hour! But probably worth it long term 🙂

  3. I’ll read parts of books out loud or lines from characters but thats a whole other story – aha, I thought I was the only one! Reading the dialogue out loud in Harry Potter is fun too, Harry and Hermione are the easiest to do.

    1. Oh! I love to do Hermione and Luna! Sometimes when I’m really punchy (and probably should be sleeping) I’ll even attempt the accents like I’m a right on actress or something 🙂

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