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ON THE
SHOULDERS
OF THE
MOUNTAIN

a selection of
poems by
Frank M.
Chipasula

Released by earthcds.


ON THE SHOULDERS OF THE MOUNTAIN
A Selection of Poems by Frank M. Chipasula
Audio CD - 30 tracks, 42 minutes
Released by earthcds.

We are privileged to hear the voice of Frank Chipasula, often described as one of the most serious Malawian poets, as he recites 28 linked poems that force us to revisit the killing grounds of southern Africa. After the opening appeal to the listener to make a commitment towards peace, justice and beauty in a world where these seem to be rare, the poet then takes us on a guided tour of many sites of colonial and postcolonial assassinations, massacres and murders in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Angola. He names the sites of these horrendous crimes in order to warn us about the terrible price of forgetting. The rest of the poems reveal the massacres committed by colonial Portuguese soldiers in Mozambique as reprisals against innocent civilians that have gone down into the country's history as among the worst 20th Century crimes against humanity. And through overt and implicit references, the poet reminds us about the apartheid South African and Rhodesian pogroms against the indigenous people of the region. By thrusting us into these painful events, these poems are calculated to shock us into aligning ourselves with truth and justice. In the closing track, through linked blessings, the poet reminds us about the beauty of the human touch and rewards anyone who has persistently listened to these stories and resolved to enrich our world with what is beautiful in all of us.

ABOUT FRANK M. CHIPASULA:
Considered one of the most significant contemporary world poets, Chipasula currently holds one of the two Judge William Holmes Cook Professorships in the College of Liberal Arts at Southern Illinois University. His books of poetry include Visions and Reflections (1972), the first published Malawian poetry book in English; O Earth, Wait for Me (1984); Nighwatcher, Nightsong (1986) and Whispers in the Wings (1991). He is an editor of such ground-breaking anthologies in African literature as When My Brothers Come Home: Poems from Central and Southern Africa (1985); The Heinemann Book of African Women's Poetry (with Stella; 1995) and Bending the Bow: An Anthology of African Love Poetry (2009). He is currently preparing for publication the following novels: In the Shadow of that Stone; In a Dark Season and The Color of Dust, written in the early 1970s. He is the founding publisher of Brown Turtle Press Inc.

A portion of the revenue from the sale of this CD will benefit the MALAWI CHILDREN'S VILLAGE in Mangoche, southern Malawi.

$16



"Putting that 'lamp on the dark ceiling' is precisely what (Whispers in the Wings) achieves,"
---Landeg White, Poetry Review 50 (London, U.K.).

"Of all the poetry we read this semester, your work seemed the most honest, the strongest, and the most memorable! The reader is allowed to feel your pain and anger, not as a mere observer, but as a participant...Yours is not a poetry of moderation,"
---Steven C. Sidel, Chipasula Letter, Creative Writing Student, Brown University, 1986.

"Chipasula's poetry is profound and demands a lot of thinking from the reader. To gain a full appreciation of the work, one should spend some time analyzing and searching every line,"
---M.Y., January 31, 1985.
A portion of the revenue from the sale of this CD will benefit the MALAWI CHILDREN'S VILLAGE in Mangoche, southern Malawi.

$16



Track List
1
My Father's Last Words
2
A Love Poem for My Country
3
The Trees
4
The Scream
5
The Head
6
The Woman
7
The Assassins
8
Dirty WorK
9
The Herd Boys
10
Mind over Matter?
11
The Assassins' Confession
12
How We Silenced Them
13
Woman II
14
The Victims' Last Pleas
15
Why We Did What
We Did To Them
16
What We Did
17
The Fighting Elephants
18
The Torture-Killers
19
The Widow
20
The Assassins' Confessions
21
The Killing Grounds
22
Wiriyamu
23
Nhazonia
24
Shrapnel
25
A Hanging
26
The Burning Rose
27
In the House of Power
28
The Emperors for Life
29
A Rain of Rotten Tomatoes
30
A Blessing
"Frank M. Chipasula comes to us with rich language and a bursting, compassionate heart. I have seldom encountered poetry which expresses so much pain as his reports of the monstrous state atrocities in Southern Africa in Whispers in the Wings. His vision is full of righteous rage and its power is overwhelming in such poems as A Hanging and A Grain of Salt,"
---
Adrian Mitchell, (one of the most respected 20th Century poets), London, U.K.

"Frank M. Chipasula is easily one of the very best of the known writers in the discourse of Malawian letters. His impressive efforts place him in a very admirable space in historicizing a literary tradition,"
---Osita Ezeliora, School of Literature and Language Studies, University of the Witwatersrand.

"(Frank Chipasula) offers some of the most vivid imagery in all modern African verse,"
---Adrian Roscoe, The Quiet Chameleon: Modern Poetry from Central Africa.

"...the work of ...Frank Chipasula...is worth the attention of literary critics...(He) is one of southern Africa's finest contemporary poets,"
---Jonathan P. Loomis, former student, American University, Washington. D.C.

"Frank Chipasula's 'Manifesto on Ars Poetica' is especially moving, a series of resolutions that should be engraved on any poet's heart,"
---Carol Rumens, review of Adewale Maja-Pearce, ed. The Heinemann Book of African Poetry in English.

"Chipasula's (...) lines flow smoothly and lively pictures fill his pages,"
---Frank Meintjies, Natal Witness, August 9, 1984.

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