Feb 27, 2013

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MEDITATION: Africa! My Africa!

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Proverbs 16:24)

Today I want to introduce you to a beautiful anthology of poems.

Those who read it will have a profound spiritual experience.

The collection was compiled by the well known South African writer and poet, Patricia Schonstein. It forms part of a unique project which, similar to the spirit in which Jesus acted, wants to reach out to the neglected and underprivileged children of our country, helping them to listen to and read the different stories and poems of our continent.

All the poems are about Africa. They take the reader – at times in a deeply moving and gripping way – through the many hardships, suffering and struggle that this dark continent had to endure over many centuries.

At the same time they offer the reader the opportunity to share in Africa’s serene joys, her tolerance and patience, her unpredictable, but catching humour – also the many surprising bursts of new hope, freedom and love – triggered by Africa’s own wonderful people, their trials and tribulations.

And of course, also inspired by Africa’s breathtaking scenery and unique wildlife.
All of this, together with the many deep and conflicting emotions that Africa always summons, is introduced in this anthology which is rightfully called: “Africa! My Africa!”

If what the Dutch poet Willem Volmink says about poetry is right, namely that it is a cure for those burdened with the pains of anxiety, apathy, cynicism and despair, then “Africa! My Africa!” offers a prompt and trusted remedy.

Different from many other collections, Schonstein’s anthology is also highly accessible to the ordinary reader.

These poems are indeed words that are pleasant like a honeycomb – sweetness to the soul and health to the body (Proverbs 16:24).

Carel Anthonissen

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