Birdsong by Damore Alli

Genre Poetry.

Blurb ‘Birdsong is a collection of stories I had been yearning to tell from the first day I tasted poetry in the betrayal of the first boy I ever dared to love. It is the voice of mother in my head, from the countless conversations we would have about the boys that came and the ones that never did. It is a playlist of the songs I sing to myself on days when my head is quiet enough to hear my heart say: my love is here for you. It is my song. I hope it makes you dance.’

Themes Love, Heartbreak, Loss, Longing and Abuse.

Editing Properly edited.

What worked? This poetry collection is made up of free verse poems in three sections: Love, Hurt and Learn. The poems are mostly short and easy to digest.

Love – As its name suggests, is about romantic and familial love.

Seasons was a good poem to begin this section. It was simple to follow but showed some thought had gone into putting the words together because of the contrasts in each verse.

I Choose to Believe is the first poem in the collection where the title is the first line of the poem. This was an interesting twist to this collection.

I Dare You was memorable for the figures of speech used in the poem which conveyed the emotions vividly.

Hurt – Is about heartbreak, unrequited love, waiting for love and abusive relationships.

When you Knocked on my Heart’s Door, I Walked Away the first poem in this section is prose poetry. It is a well-written poem about one-sided love with a user. The end was great!

Bella Naija Love is the most memorable poem in this collection. Made up of short sentences that seem more like hashtags than sentences. The effect of the style is punchy and engaging. It tells a short tale with alternate endings like those movies which give you a choice. It is about dating experiences in the social media age.

Just elicited laughter from us even though it was meant to be about hurt. It was relatable. ‘How was he?’ ‘He was just there…’

You Will Never Be Enough about an abusive partner, comes across as a warning to people in abusive relationships. It is one of the few poems where the poet seems to distance herself from the subject matter so that it does not read as personal as the others.

It’s My Fault Always is jarring for being so realistic. It is the story of many girls and women blamed for being sexually abused and carrying this with them for years. It is a very meaningful and powerful poem.

How to Find a Husband and Mother Says stick out like a sore thumb in this section about hurt. They are relatable poems about the societal expectation to get married especially for women.

Swipe Right for Love is a very ‘modern’ poem in that it uses present day terminology from technology to convey its message of wrong choices of partners.

Even the Ones That Stay, Go Some Day is the most poignant poem in this collection. And the end is unexpected.

Learn – The poems in this section read like the lessons learned from Love and Hurt. It makes them feel familiar. You can relate them with certain poems you already read in the previous sections.

Closure in this section was a perfect poem to end this collection. This is something we have not come across in previous poetry books.

Overall, Birdsong was a heartfelt, intimate and sometimes emotional collection of poems. The writing style is somewhat similar to e e cummings. However, since we are not traditional poetry readers, we found this distracting.

If you are heartbroken, you are hereby advised not to read this collection. Unless of course, you are looking for a good cry like Hilda Dokubo.

What didn’t work? Learn was the weakest link in this collection. The strength, lessons learnt, was also the weakness because it made the poems seem familiar and not always in a good way. As a result, the poems in this section were not really memorable to us.

As with many poetry collections, there were some poems that we didn’t connect with. They were Just

Number of pages 74.

Publisher Sevhage Publishers.

Damage $7.60 on Amazon Kindle.

Rating 6.7/10.

Birdsong is available on Amazon and Bambooks.

Many thanks, Damore for sending us a copy of your book in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Poetry

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