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Poems for the Penniless, Paperback / softback Book


These poems by Issa Shivji, lawyer, activist and Tanzanian public intellectual, were written at different times in different circumstances. They give vent to personal anguish and political anger. Mostly originally written in Kiswahili, and here accompanied by English translations, they are intensely personal and political. Poems are clustered under several headings to provide a context. The first Shivji combines personal agony at the loss of comrades and friends with poems about love and affection for living one. The second is about robberies of freedom, resources, and dignity and the loss of justice under neoliberalism. The third section, entitled Hopes and Fears, comprise short poems tweeted over the last five years expressing despair, fear and hope in the human capacity for freedom. The last section are poems, concerned with Shivji’s period in South Africa in 2018, reflect on the emergence of neo-apartheid with its wanton and shameless exploitation of the majority.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Daraja Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Poetry by individual poets
  • ISBN: 9781988832173



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