Title: Behind Closed Doors
Author: Robbie Cheadle
Published: May 31st 2021
I received a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4 Bee’s
In one sentence: It made me feel like I was sitting in Robbie’s living room chatting with her
Book Summary: A collection of unusual poems by Robbie Cheadle. Many came into existence in the COVID-19 pandemic and show issues that bother her.
About Robbie from Goodreads:
Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 1 poetry book.
The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.
Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.
Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.
I was very excited to find this lovely poetry book in my inbox several months ago. One of my habits is to read a poem a day and Robbie’s poems were inspiring companions for several months.
In her introduction, Robbie explains that her idea about poetry differs somehow from a more mainstream approach. She says: ” When I write poetry, … , it is usually an explosion of thoughts and/or emotions. The whole poem comes into my mind fully formed. I don’t struggle for words or ideas and I don’t usually do a huge amount of editing outside of looking for word echoes, improving word choices, and eliminating words that hinder the rhythmic flow.”
I could recognise my poetry writing in her words and it made me happy to find a poetry book that approaches versing the same way I do.
The book is organised into 6 chapters from “In The Boardroom” to “In Nature” and encompasses themes of passing away, what’s on her mind and “In The Home”. Some of her poems are longer and create a story while others are short glimpses of a moment in tanka form. I prefer short poetry and loved her tanka poems which are written in an accessible language. They often describe moments that are familiar to all of us:
“Thoughts” in the chapter “After Death” gave me goosebumps because I can well relate to Robbie’s words:
Can plunge your soul into Hell
Inward focus lets
Misguided ideas rule
Leaving emptiness behind…“
“Been there, done that, got the t-shirt” were my thoughts when I read this poem. It made me feel like sitting in Robbie’s living room, chatting with her over a cup of tea or coffee. I felt it was refreshing that she did not shy away from difficult topics like cut-throat business people or how poor citizens can’t stockpile and have to suffer even more in lock-down.
This book shows a lot of what Robbie cares about and where she finds solace and by sharing her poetry she offers ideas and support for the readers. If you like unusual poetry, that is personal and does not shy away from difficult topics, this book is for you. A great present for poetry lovers.
That’s it for today. I hope you’ll check out her books.
Please stay safe, stay kind and remember you rock!
Bee’s Rating System
5 Bee’s This is an extraordinary read
4 Bee’s I love it
3 Bee’s It was ok
2 Bee’s There were a lot problems
1 Bee I could not read it