Blurb “Tope, in this amazing collection of poetry wows us with his ability to craft beautiful words into poetry that anyone can really enjoy. It has been a long time coming, but it’s worth the wait.”
Themes Heartbreak, Unfulfilled/Aborted Dreams, Sadness, Depression, Death, Loss, Despair and Intimacy.
Editing A few errors.
What worked? It’s poetry, so as usual, we write our reviews separately. The Book of Pain has 39 poems exploring themes around sadness and pain, except for the random poem about morning poo, Toilet Musings!
Mo As aptly titled, this collection of 39 poems is melancholic although, peppered with a few light-hearted poems. At its core is the feeling of despair. The style of the poems varies, there are several free verse poems and a few elegies. With his choice of words, Tope intends to evoke an emotional reaction from his readers.
The closing poem, Damaged Doors is my favourite because it’s the one I could relate to the most.
The thief did not ask for the keys,
He simply brought out his tool
And with one push, broke through the door
Lady B The Book of Pain reminds me of Clinical Blues by Dami Ajayi. If I didn’t know Tope’s background, I would have guessed medicine, all the same. The most striking thing about the poems is how they are crafted in a way that brings the words to life, painting vivid images in the mind of the reader.
The first poem which caught my attention was The Odyssey about life’s journey. These lines aptly capture the crux of the poem: “Such is our voyage/ A symphony composed / Of crescendos and decrescendos.”
I liked the rhyming of first two lines of each stanza in Hopes of a Thousand Nights. I love my rhymes, it’s one of the things I like about poetry. I particularly liked the last stanza:
Goodbye to dreams of bliss
Nightmare has returned from the abyss
Look, how fast the darken Lord has overthrown the sky!
Hordes of Clouds swallow
The hopes of a thousand nights.
In Ricochet and A Place Called Sadness, Tope’s use of metaphors leaves a lasting impression on you. A Place Called Sadness:
The land is rich
Perfect for seeds of despair
To grow into a dense
Forest of verdant boughs
I also like This One Time and Our Music Never Stops about heartbreak. The latter will work well as spoken word because of the rhythm. Tope, who is Laura? 🙂
Finally, I like Georgia Nights, also about heartbreak but using music to represent the pain caused by the heartbreaker. As I always say, I like poems about heartbreak, don’t judge me! However, I was confused by the opening line “Strum me like a guitar.” This suggests the poet wanted his heart broken. I think “You strum me like a guitar” would work better so it’s a factual statement of what happened. Perhaps, I’m overthinking this…
Tope’s poems are universal and will appeal to poetry lovers. I think non poetry lovers may struggle a bit, it’s more intermediate than beginner, to speak in game level terms.
What didn’t work?
Mo I’m not a fan of complex poetry laced with context-specific vocabulary, not because I’m simple minded but because I’d like to be able to mull over a poem without having to reach out for a dictionary to simplify things.
Lady B The poems with all the medical terms. They didn’t work for me. Although, I could see how someone in the medical field may relate to them. The only exception is Echoes of Death.
I liked The Sanctuary but didn’t understand this line – “I lock the doors and keep it in the purse close to my heart.” Did you mean to write that he kept the key to the door close to his heart?
Number of pages 72.
Publisher Sevhage, an imprint of Vershage Enterprises.
Damage $5.99 paperback on Amazon.
The Book of Pain is available on Amazon.
Many thanks, Tope for sending us a copy of your book to review.