Funny Men Cannot Be Trusted by Tolu’ Akinyemi

Funny Men Cannot Be Trusted

Genre Poetry

Blurb ‘Funny Men Cannot Be Trusted’ is a witty yet poignant third instalment in the unconventional ‘poetry for people who hate poetry’ series. It is a collection that humorously melds the trivial and the serious. It’s introduced with an exploration of the roles, foibles, and failures of men and fathers in relationships and families.’

Themes Infidelity, Love, Fatherhood, Family, Justice, Loss, Domestic Violence and Loneliness.

Editing Well edited.

What worked? This collection of over 130 poems (can’t give an exact number as I counted twice and got different totals) is divided into three parts. Tolu’ sets out to write a poetry book for those who don’t like poetry, and he also writes about the everyday things in Nigeria which don’t always make it to print. He wanted something different from the usual socio-economic and political issues which are usually written about in African stories. I think he succeeds in achieving both aims.

‘Most people ignore poetry because most poetry ignores people.’

– Adrian Mitchell

I’ve come to appreciate poetry over time and I even enjoy reading it now. The concise writing, the use of wit, play on words, rhymes and figures of speech. All these and more are in this collection. The best thing about it is that it is simple to understand and the short length of the poems make them punchy. It’s truly a poetry collection for those who don’t like poetry. Perhaps, a puritan may turn their nose up at some of the poems (is it poetry or not?) but most of them worked for me and I laughed out loud, at times.

A few poems which stood out:

‘Good Morning’ about people who greet ‘morning.’ ‘Tell me what’s left…/ If you chew off the “good” / in a simple good morning.’

‘Interesting,’ a word with several meanings.

‘Expensive Things’ juxtaposing two classes of people in society.

I liked that the poems in this collection were about identifiable themes as well as random things.

If you pick up this collection, don’t read it in two sittings like I did. It’s a lot to read and analyse in a short time and may affect your enjoyment of the collection.

What didn’t work? I think ‘Silent Poet’ works better as a title for the poem, ‘Sleeping Poet.’

Though most of the poems are universal, a few have Nigerian colloquialisms whose meanings even the glossary at the end could not properly explain. Although, this was not an issue for me, I appreciate that it may be for non-Nigerians.

Number of pages 192.

Publisher Heart of Words, United Kingdom.

Damage $2.40 on Amazon Kindle.

Rating 7/10.

Funny Men Cannot Be Trusted is available on Amazon.

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