Title: Tears of the pen
Author: Qui Qarre
Publisher: Kenyan Poets Lounge (Kepolo Books)
Completion Time: Loooong
I still remember the first time I met Qui Qarre, brains behind Tears of the Pen, she was on The Trend and daaamn. You’ll just have to watch that episode to believe me, which you can watch here. She was 19 and she was already living her dream, don’t even ask what I was doing at that age.
But I was smitten, so I followed her socials and then well. When I heard she had a book (Tears of the Pen), I just had to reach out. And she was awesome and friendly about it. Needless to say, I read the whole thing in her voice and even just the first poem was magic.
Okay, now am totally biased, but you have to read it. Purchase your copy from her website.
Tears of the Pen
Tears of the pen is an incredible retelling of the Kenyan society as we know it. Qui Qarre tells about her life, her firsts, things that keep her awake, those that scare her. She tells of why she is the way she is and why society is unkind to her.
Qui opens up about why strong black women easily commit suicide talking about that woman that isn’t afraid to love and why society punishes her. Women Like Me, one of the poems therein is an appreciation to the women we are taught to be just before we are told we cannot be. In many ways, that particular poem made me want to read Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
P.S- I got another poetry book A Time For Peace by Chorya at the 21st Nairobi International Book Fair. I hope it doesn’t take me forever to review it and that it makes me as passionate as Tears of the Pen did.
She Doesn’t want to spread her legs
However, I’d be lying if I didn’t write about She Doesn’t Want To Spread Her Legs. Immediately I received this book, I opened the first page. All that pent-up anticipation was gnawing at my insides. So as soon as I got into bed I opened the first page and found this poem. Needless to say, it is the reason I took forever to complete the rest of the book.
She Doesn’t want to spread her legs is one of those verses that will make you cry. It’s that poem that will have you telling your boys, “You guys don’t understand”. It will make you appreciate life more. It will make you cry and kill you, and then it will raise you up from the ashes like a phoenix. Regardless of what station you are at in life, this poem will resonate deeply.
And when you are done, it will give you sleepless nights, or a sound sleep depending on what kind of human you are. It will make you more empathetic and understanding. Then you will have the energy to move on to the next poem in Tears Of The Pen and you will not stop blurbing about it.
One More Thing
If nothing else, I hope this book tells you that poetry is art and storytelling a talent. I hope it encourages you to support young artists and listen to the plight of those who cry. I hope you never have to resort to tears of the pen to tell your story and I hope you learn to recognize that need in others. Also, buy this book from Qui Qarre‘s website. It’s the perfect gift, its Kenyan, and it’s truly artistic.
If you’ve read the book, tell me about it in the comments. Mention your favourite poem and why you chose it.