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Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite
Things I’ve Been Meaning to Say: A Collection of Words and Thoughts by Amber M. Whitted is a powerful, poignant testimonial in poetic form about being black, being a woman, being a servant of God, and about being alive - being alive in the fullest sense, body, soul, mind, and spirit. The language is fresh, original, and heartbreakingly honest. From “Memory”: The problem with memory/is it takes you step by step/and minute by minute/down corridors of shouldacouldawouldas.
There is a fearlessness, a surety about these poems, as if their wisdom is not only hard won, but also dearly prized and shared as an act of courage and faith in response to a calling. Things I’ve Been Meaning to Say: A Collection of Words and Thoughts is more than a book of poems - it is a celebratory treatise on the art of transforming flaws into assets. Amber M. Whitted, in sharing these experiential pearls, brings the reader into a sacred trust - a legacy of hope spun over generations and genders. From “I Am”: I am/the prayers of every slave/the amen at the end/of every hymn sung.
While the perspectives in Things I’ve Been Meaning to Say: A Collection of Words and Thoughts are implicitly those of a black woman, the truths these powerful poems contain are universal and timeless. Anyone reading this collection will come away with a cathartic affirmation that joy and strength follow darkness; that faith will be rewarded with certainty. Amber M. Whitted has made manifest in Things I’ve Been Meaning to Say: A Collection of Words and Thoughts a benediction of monumental value for readers - and believers - everywhere.