Rise and Fall of My Beloved

Today it is my pleasure to welcome poet Utanu Maa and her book Rise and Fall of My Beloved.


Author’s description

Rise and Fall of My Beloved is a collection of poetry and prose about resilience—about the experience of stigma and rejection, disease and suffering, love and care, loss and grief—and also a testimony of gratitude, forgiveness and togetherness. Each of its three parts is a journey through life’s struggles, pain and loss, all of which require an inner force to overcome, build, rebuild, succeed and heal: resilience. It expresses an undercurrent to an imposed destiny or stigma.


Based on the life experience of my late brother, Rise and Fall of My Beloved is a tribute to mankind’s resilience to overcome adversities. The book takes readers from his vulnerable childhood as a neglected orphan set to die, through a childhood in which he was bullied, to his rise as an accomplished engineer, and sadly to his fall as a dying patient of HIV/AIDS. Each poem depicts the essence of unconditional love and care, the dignity of dying of AIDS, forgiveness, and family bond. This book is a manifesto of my brother’s exceptional resilience, the best memory of him that will live forever. It is an invitation, an inspiration, a reflection that, when mankind encounters struggles, disease, pain, death, loss, grief, we have to grieve and heal, and rebuild.

About the Author

I am Utanu MAA. I live in Toronto and work as a public servant within the Ontario Court of Justice. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, where I studied French Literature and Law before migrating to Canada in 1991, and thereafter studied Fashion Marketing, Paralegal and Law (1year) programs. In 2004, I was a recipient of a prize for the Poetry contest organized by Canada Heritage during the celebration of the Francophonie. “Couleur d’une langue” (The Color of a language), my unpublished poem about the diversity and different accents that give rhythm and power to a language to become an umbrella of one identity. “Rise and Fall of My Beloved” is also my own journey into unconditional love and care, and the resilience to deal with pain, loss, grief, to grieve, heal and continue with life after my brother’s death.

Find the Author

Connect with Utanu Maa at her website or on Facebook.

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM https://amazon.com/dp/0228836506
AMAZON.CA https://amazon.ca/dp/0228836506
KINDLE https://amazon.com/dp/B08M2DNJHP
BOOKSHOP https://bookshop.org/books/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved/9780228836506
INDIGO CHAPTERS https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/rise-and-fall-of-my/9780228836513-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved-utanu-maa/1138021915
BOOK DEPOSITORY https://www.bookdepository.com/Rise-and-Fall-of-My-Beloved-Utanu-Maa/9780228836506
RAKUTEN KOBO https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved
SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1051884
APPLE BOOKS https://books.apple.com/us/book/rise-and-fall-of-my-beloved/id1538242460

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

An Excerpt Just for Readers of This Blog

The Speech

He lacked the speech and was teased, mocked.

People regularly targeted, labelled, and bullied him.

They did not believe in his ability to learn and succeed,

They repeatedly told him loudly, in his face

And ears with intent to persuade him about himself.

They predestined him for failure because he was unable to speak.

He remained silent for a long time, listening carefully.

He observed motions on their lips; he absorbed words and sounds.

Then, one early morning, still in bed,

While everyone was in their last dream or nightmare,

And when time had healed and ended his grieving,

The miracle happened: he spoke!

Words and sounds gusted out of his mouth

Like a volcano erupting after a century of long sleep,

He spoke, he spoke, and he spoke volumes!

He talked firmly to himself or maybe to an invisible entity or spirit,

Repeating verbatim words that he had been absorbing:

The same terms used to tease, label, and mock him,

To bully and denigrate him, to silence him and cast him out.

From the bed where I slept, after we were allowed,

I saw him walking outside like a soldier going to war,

Brave and determined to defend his persona with words!

The struggle was out there, and he went to fight it

With his only but most potent weapon: words!

Words used in a common way: verbally, loudly, and firmly.

He knew the power of words, used for any purpose.

Now equally equipped to face the struggle in his early life,

He spoke correctly just as he had observed words on lips,

Using the same words to tease, mock, or intimidate.

To the big disbelief of all, though I had prayed and pleaded

To my ancestors and God that one day he would speak,

Zola had proven at last his ability to pronounce words.

Soon he would go to school to learn words in books,

To write words on a blackboard or in a notebook,

On a wall or on the ground, carving on a tree or on leaves.

Words pronounced in speech to make a statement,

Words spoken with confidence in a native or foreign language,

Words used to argue, defend opinions, convince, and lead,

Words that would further educate and engineer his brain,

Words as a tool to beat all odds and rise exceptionally like a star,

Indeed, words were clearly spoken by his mouth from this point on.

What liberation, relief, blessing, and privilege!

Thank you!

Utanu Maa — we appreciate your sharing one of your poems with us! Best of luck with sales of Rise and Fall of My Beloved, and with all of your future writing.

17 thoughts on “Rise and Fall of My Beloved

  1. This sounds like a lovely poetry collection, thank you for sharing your book and author details and for offering a giveaway.

  2. Hello and thank you for having me on this book tour. I also would like to express my gratitude to every reader for their interest and comments about my book. I hope that you are all having a great holiday season. I will stay connected throughout the day to reply to your commnets or questions. I wish you all of you a Happy and Healthy New Year 2021. Stay safe and resilient.

    • Sorry. I previously have my name displayesd as canada150kidstravelandlearn instead of Utanu Maa. That was an old online business I had with WordPress and had terminated sometimes ago. I am suprised to see it coming. I am tryng to fixe the issue and I beg your indulgence. Please be advised that it is Utanu Maa, the author, posting. I beg your indulgence if I do not succeed to solve the problem. Sorry.

    • Hi Rita. Thank you for visiting my book tour. I hope that you did take note of the book giveaway. Your visit is precious and I really appreciateit. The book is a poetry of Resilience and the cover colors represent the rainbow which is an exuberance of joy, hope, happines, life…all the good feelings after a storm to get Humanity goes on and rebuild. This is exactly where we, humn beings, are at this time of the pandemic when resilience is most needed. I write with a purpose and this book is an inspiration, an invitation, testimony and a reflection. Stay resilient and Í wish you a Happy New Year 2021.

    • Hi Sherry. Thank you for stopping by. The colors of a rainbow to express the exuberance of beauty, joy, life after a storm, positive feelings to overcome hard times and be resilient. In fact, this book is also my own journey to grieving and healing after my brother’s death. A magnificent rainbow spread over a clear and blue sky just after his burial, and then disappeared. I understood that he was at peace and was laughing at me for bearing so much griefs. I promised him to grieve and heal, and express gratitude for all the blessings he had in his life. These colors symbolize the resilience to overcome in hard times like now and throughout the new year. So, I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year 2021. CHEERS!!!

    • Thank you to Goddess Fish Promotions for organizing this book tour. I did love the experience and was delighted to read and reply to every comments from wonderful followers or readers. Thank again to all of you who visited or continue to visit my book tour Happy New Year and best wishes for 2021.

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