Bruised but Unbroken Revised: poems and stories
Few reach maturity unscathed by life.
To endure and to survive
is to have the power to say
‘I am bruised but unbroken.’
About the author: Cheryl Antao-Xavier is the author of Dance of the Peacock—poems, 2008; Bruised but Unbroken—poems & stories, 2011/2017; Life in Maple Woods—kid’s book, 2015. Whose BLEEP book is this anyway? a play, 2017. PATHWAYS—to better writing!, 2017. She is a member of the League of Canadian Poets, The Writer’s Union of Canada and The Ontario Poetry Society. She is also Executive Director of RISE Up! Rise ABOVE!, a non-profit that promotes therapeutic expression and reading. She lives in Streetsville, Ontario, with her husband and two sons.
REVIEWS FOR BRUISED BUT UNBROKEN
With heart-aching resonance and a forthrightness that cannot but move you, Antao-Xavier returns to the past, reconciles old and new selves, and finds comfort in the present. I see in her, and in her poetry, a kindred ‘unbroken spirit,’ who lives life with devotion and humility, courage and truth, sadness and joy, and with a desire to serve.--Dr. Ranjini George, Professor and author of Through My Mother’s Window: Emirati Women Tell Their Stories and Recipes.
In a time where women have been forced to assemble worldwide to defend their rights, the re-emergence of Bruised but Unbroken is both timely and necessary. Antao-Xavier portrays the female experience in smooth and compelling lines.--Brandon Pitts, author, Pressure to Sing, Tender in the Age of Fury, and In the Company of Crows.
Cheryl’s words feel like a beacon, lighting the way for the reader and ultimately delivering them through their own brokenness. The sprinkling of haikus throughout her book provides a refreshing touch, like that of a gentle shower of hope. The strength in her prose creates a restorative power that is palpable.--Susan Ksiezopolski, author of My Words, Writing for Change and The Writer’s Workshop.
Bruised but Unbroken is a personal, in-your-face collection of poetry that focuses on the theme of not giving up, of overcoming, of reflecting on what’s been done to you or your loved ones and taking a stand. I loved it. Great poetry is moving. It is personal and philosophical, and shines light on our hidden hopes and secret despairs. Antao-Xavier’s collection does exactly that.--Adam Fernandes, writer, educationist, activist, adam-fernandes.blogspot.ca.
Cheryl Antao-Xavier’s new collection is ‘a box of treasures.’ Each poem is a prayer of faith in our own spirit, inviting us to forge ahead in spite of obstacles, to ‘step out of the margins’ and lift our soul ‘out of misfortune, healed and unbroken.’ -- Josie Di Sciascio-Andrews, teacher, poet & author of Letters from the Singularity and Jar of Fireflies, Host & Coordinator of the Oakville Literary Café.
This is poetry at its powerful best: digging deep to wring out unspoken thoughts from the depths of the soul. Frustration, despair, heartbreak all simmer through, then pour out in the form of words that often leave you gasping at the rawness of emotion. Bruised but Unbroken is not just poetry that will have you marvelling at the unquestionable skill of its author, its emotional undercurrent will touch your heart.--Archie D’Cruz, publisher, atypeofmagic.com.
Cheryl’s work is honest and from the heart. She takes you up to the edge of a clear pond and makes absolutely no apology for pushing you right in along with her. As you swim in her words, her colours and her experiences, you break the surface knowing that you have merged with the flow of all life, finding the similarity in being alive.--Susan Munro, mystic poet; esoteric/alternative healer, author of Coil and Ravings of a Lunatic Saint.
Bruised but Unbroken is brilliantly crafted, a testimony to the resiliency of women to ‘rise again.’ Cheryl Antao-Xavier portrays lived experiences, creating empowering mindfulness and healing that disrupts the transmission of intergenerational violence. A must read for all who resist social inequities and human rights violations. Rita Kohli, feminist, writer, human rights activist.
Cheryl’s candid depiction of the harsh realities of life is balanced with the conveyance of our Spirit’s enduring resilience. Her words are catalytic, bringing awareness to how a shift in perspective changes insurmountable barriers to growth and inner strength. She grounds one to live in the present moment with gratitude.—Lindsay W. Albert, poet, author of One Life—Different Perspectives.
Cheryl Antao-Xavier’s heartfelt poetry gently lights up the pages with well-crafted verses spanning moments and years.--I.B. Iskov, Founder, The Ontario Poetry Society.
Bruised but Unbroken breathes life into women’s empowerment by exposing the grim truth of oppression and the culpability of complacency therein.--Jasmine Jackman, educator, author, motivator.
Cheryl writes from the heart, which is why her poetry is deeply touching. She has the unique ability of using words like a paintbrush…The final picture is a work of art.--KumKum Ramchandani, artist, poet, author of Bailey’s Blogs.
The resilience of the human spirit is so evocatively expressed in Cheryl's poems. Each poem is a pearl, born of an irritant speck of dust, of negativity that over time finds acceptance of a new self, new strength and burnished by experience, transforms into a lustrous bead.--Geeta Krishnamoorthy, part-time poet.
We women find ourselves at a point where our inner development demands a proportionate degree of respect and influence in society. As we discover the dignity in us and as we live it, we can no longer compromise, instead we now demand to see it reflected in the family, society and the world.--Lilly Tadin, President, Women’s Federation for World Peace, Canada; Vice-President, WFWP International.
Antao-Xavier shows in stark reality the abuse of women and injustices at the hands of a male-dominated society. Inner afflictions are magnified via powerful images that touch the heart and soul of the reader.--Maria Pia Marchelletta, multilingual poet; editor; artist; President, Writers & Editors Network, Toronto