Blurb “It is hard to find poets who stay true to the art’s traditions and yet manage to be innovative in their forms, metaphors and messages. Pamilerin is one of them, and his collection will delight you – if you love good poetry, that is.” – Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, award-winning author and Publisher.
Themes Mental Health, Abuse, Depression and Death.
Editing A few copy editing errors.
What worked? The title – that’s what caught my interest in the first place and made me want to read this collection of poems. I bought this book over a year ago on Okadabooks. “What the heck did I just read?” – That’s how I felt when I read the poems in this collection the first time. This is the weirdest book I’ve ever read in my life.
Regular readers of our blog posts will know we both picked up reading poetry again just under two years ago, to read outside our comfort zones. Since this is poetry, I thought I’d give it another go. I had noticed flashes of brilliance in some lines in some poems so I read the poems again to see if individual poems made sense.
Memoir of Crushed Petals is a collection of 40 free verse poems divided into 7 parts (I am not sure about the number, to be honest because the layout on Okadabooks is awful and there is no table of contents). The poems are all heavy and sorrowful.
I didn’t have a favourite poem but I liked some lines in a few of the poems. 4am, a poem about recurring sexual abuse. The time signifies when the abuse takes place.
4am. a pimple glows on my cheek
in the dark
like a rosary bead
awaiting the touch of your silky tentacles
to caress conscience into deep sleep
as you sneak into forbidden crevices,
These lines in Yams and Misfortune created a vivid image in my head:
last night, I sat in my reading chair
like a pillar of sand punched by the wind
soldier ants have eaten into the pith of my chair
now I totter- on the floor-
back into memories that have no taste
and forth into days, lined with vinegar-
I liked the nuance in Feelings: Four Poems.
Some Other Questions I was the best written poem in the collection. It shows off the poet’s literary skills.
What didn’t work? Memoir of Crushed Petals didn’t work for me. Perhaps, I’m not the intended audience. The collection reads like a poet pouring out his heart about stuff without caring whether it is coherent or understandable. It is worth noting that at the end of the book, we are informed that Pamilerin’s primary goal of writing is first, to ease internal turmoil, and also to shed light on the struggles of mental health patients in Nigeria.
There is heavy use of metaphors in the poems which I think was excessive and random. Even worse is that Pamilerin does not stay with his metaphors, he switches midway through the poems and leaves the reader confused because when the lines are read together as one poem, it is disjointed.
The end in You, about self-hate was unexpected. I think the poem would have worked if the lines weren’t so disgusting.
I don’t understand why the words “penis,” “masquerade’s penis” and “testicles” were included in every other poem mostly with no relationship to the poems. It seems Pamilerin threw these into the poems for the shock factor. If you read this book and can explain that, I’d be much obliged.
Pamilerin, you missed an opportunity to use “you, Pamilerin, / you are a misfit” instead of “says to me, I only join pieces that fit / you, Pamilerin, / you smell of misfortune” in The Welder.
Number of pages 100.
Publisher Words Rhymes and Rhythm Limited.
Damage $9.99 (paperback).
Memoir of Crushed Petals is available on Amazon.
Have you read Memoir of Crushed Petals? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
P.S. Mo is still AWOL. Perhaps if we all hold hands and chant “come back, Mo,” she will come back to blogging sooner rather than later.