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November 3, 2020


#Poetry Nganajungu Yagu

by NancyElin

  • Title: Nganajungu Yagu
  • Author: Charmaine Papertalk Green
  • Genre: poems, letters
  • Bingo card:  WA
  • #AusReadingMonth2020   @Bronasbooks
  • #AWW2020  @AustralianWomenWriters
  • Trivia: Winner 2020 The Australian Literature Society (ALS) Gold Medal
  • Trivia: Winner 2020 Victorian Premier’s Awards
  • Trivia:  Shortlist 2020 Queensland Literary Awards



  1. This book took me to a place that felt so safe.
  2. It took me back to my mother….
  3. …and how it felt leaving her at 20 years old to start my life
  4. …in a new country.
  5. Ms Green also left her family, her mother to attend boarding school.
  6. It brought back the feeling guilt
  7. …which I still carry not being with her in her last years.
  8. It reminded me that my mother  knew I had to lead my own life
  9. …and pushed me to a new future
  10. …and I am grateful she did.
  1. We kept in contact through letters (pre-internet/email).
  2. …and one or two international phone calls ( 1970s = expensive!!)
  3. I feel so lucky to have those letters.
  4. …just as Charmaine Papertalk Green explains
  5. in her book Nganajungu Yagu ( My Mother)
  6. …how she cherishes her letters
  7. …and save them in her RJS (suitcase).


  1. Ms Papertalk Green reached out to me
  2. …and we shared the same thoughts.
  3. I hold a letter with my mothers handwriting and think…
  4. She wrote these words, sentences
  5. and sealed it always with the words
  6. …Love and kisses, Mother.


  1. My mother gave me the courage to persevere
  2. through the first 10 years in a new country
  3. …with a new language to learn.
  4. I endured and sat on the tip of each day
  5. watching the hours tick over the west
  6. …and come up in the east
  7. …and eventually the homesickness did subside.


  1. Sadly my mother has passed away….
  2. …but  I still hold her letters and talk to her.
  3. I feel just like Charmine Papertalk Green
    …so close yet so far away.
  4. #MustRead
  5. Score: A+++++++


Read more from #AusReadingMonth, poetry
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nov 4 2020

    That’s exactly why we read poetry I think, Nancy. It’s a connection that opens up something in our own lives. How lovely, that you’ve been reminded of happy memories.

    • Nov 4 2020

      I think this is the best way to review a poem….reveal how if has affected you.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. #AusReadingMonth2020 Wrap-up | NancyElin
  2. AusReading Month – Wrap Up Post – Brona (This Reading Life)

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