Welcome to our first book review, Yay! we know more is coming after this. If you’re game, let’s do this.
Sandra T. Adeyeye is one of the finest writers I know far back to our University days and guess how life turns out, I am here to review her first journey in poetry. In this post, our focus is chiefly on the book collection “Woman: A Collection of Poems on Womanhood and Being an African Woman” which I think everyone should have in their to-read for 2018.
“The poet deploys dramatic effects, prose features and poetry devices to hook the reader piece after piece. There is the temptation to box the collection to the corner of other love poems with many of the poems dealing with the theme of love – it’s bliss, its blues and downright betrayal – but it is deeper than that. it is a commendable effort.” – Oji Onoko, former Arts and Reviews Editor, THISDAY newspapers and author, “Glimpse of Our Stars”.
A great way to start a poem on Woman. First on the list is fierce, you don’t want to toy with a woman as a result of her tender body because behind the delicate fiber of her outward being, is a person capable of consuming the mightiest of men. If you doubt ask Abacha.
The second takes us up the hills of passion but it’s quickly unsatisfied. Talk about desires unfulfilled. I want to see this theme as the many failures women encounter in relationships. Some relationships just leaves them hanging, wanting more but never tasting the good juice. Also, it shows women have sensual and sexual feelings that most men don’t seem to satisfy. This leaves a woman hanging between frustration and anger.
I love the third poem, you’ve got to be grateful for all you have especially a life devoid of strife. What more can one ask? More! Yes, more, and more is coming.
Oh my, I think this is my best so far. It’s something I could relate with and I had a good laugh and a sigh. Such is the irony of our youths that prefer the offer of a greener pasture. The fanfare that surrounds their return to the homeland and the victimization suffered by girls who go after the bling and glitz from Obodo oyinbo brothers. When Christmas draws near, they’ll be coming home. Girls be careful, sisters mind your steps, women keep away from them because they’ll leave after the Christmas. It’s their way ooo. Award winning poem I must say.
This next one’s a yummy poem that talks about what many of us experience as students. You know when that neighbor is making that delicacy and you’re already salivating and gulping spittle in anticipation and at the end you end up not having a taste. Well, you’ll live to tell the tale at least.
More conceptually, I believe this is not merely about food and hunger. It shows how many times we’re over dependent on people’s actions and promises. What happens to us when they don’t match up to our conceived expectations.
A Cup of Love
I had to read this like three to four times to grasp the deeper meaning and my conclusion is that it’s laced with a sober undertone. The personification effect tells us about the tussles women go through in search of love. It looks like we’re always on a queue to hop on the next train heading towards love avenue. I love the richness of this particular one and the aesthetics. The first in the many that got me asking “What is Sandra talking about here?” I love the brain spin it gave me and I appreciate the attributes used in describing each love-search frenzy. Woman, stay at a place, love will find you at her time. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way for other women represented by the bull, elephant and rhino etc to trample on you. In Sandra’s perspective, you can’t buy a cup of love.
Struck is gory but shows what happens on our roads. I love the last line “ Blurry sight placed heads where Feet should be.” And that’s what happens when we defy nature.
Talk about a poem for mother’s, this is a good shot. And if you’ve had the privilege of watching the movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” you’ll understand the depth of motherhood. This poem is short, simple and yet captures the essence a mother’s love.
So This is It
So This Is It explores the suffering of a woman married into lack and penury. It reminds one of Nnu Ego in Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood. Typically centered on the suffering women experience with marrying wretched men who exploits them, wrecking their lives and turning them old before they age. Should a woman marry rich or poor? What’s a life in the cold, looking old and beggarly when we can be in fancy castles with bliss and warmth?
These are the salient questions this poem impresses on our mind.
Is isolation an elixir for hurts? That’s the question you would ponder on after reading Reincarnation. When all the fences we’ve built come shattering, what will protect us from hurts? Explore this on Woman.
Casa Nutriment is a mix of Spanish and English word. Casa means house or home while nutriment is something that nourishes or promotes growth. It examines our dallying back and forth when it comes to what we’ll eat. Our minds are never made up. We’re drown between eating clean or eating sweet, between healthy and junk, local and international, real meals or appetizers. The paradoxical theme is very fun to read. Please bring me nkwobi, nah, I want a hamburger instead.
The Hollow is a little bleak. It is difficult to place the exact thought of the poet. we’re just sad at the end.
Explores lust and imaginations of passion like in a dream. The character imagines getting a woman metaphorically named “beauty” laid in his bedroom. Her husband he said once said not every woman can be laid but his wife is moaning to his sexual pleasuring as it happens in his imagination.
The style of this particular poem is artistic if we get past the hidden delivery of the poetic lines. The author/poet employed the stream-of-consciousness technique to unravel the amorous imagination of the character. Weldon Sandra on this one.
I love this poem because of the use of personification and contradictory comparison. The imagery is powerful and sultry too. Let me ooze you some.
Line 5 and 6
… Mistress mist in her sultry silk
Served us hot frost and icy sun
The contradiction is glaring and adds to the richness of the diction. More so the transfer a human quality …“mistress, served” makes it grand to any lover of poetry.
The dialogue is didactic. Follows a plot and it’s well carved. How can one tell a story so enchanting with few words? One of the best from Woman. It explores trust, extramarital affairs, forgiveness but this woman in The Dialogue is taking no glance behind.
“…Will you really leave me?” I heard from afar
With my bags packed and shoes in hand, Zap!
My breeze is all that is left behind
Never will I tap on rewind.
And the last I will talk about is the main dish,
Sandra rendered Woman as an epistle from my point of view. It takes two whole page of the work and explores the different tags and labels the world gives to women. While this might come off like a feminist poem, we can’t reject the ideals represented in Woman. The poem ends in a light but vocal way.
Poetic Devices Used in Woman
The collection explores a bust of different themes which include but not exclusive to Love, Lust, Power, Trust, Nature, Motherhood and a host of others.
The poem’s artistic rendition are in a general review excellent. While some of the poems are easy to read and understand, others need intuitive thinking and maybe a second or third read to grasp the poets thoughts.
There is a well-developed tone variation as the poetic scene changes. We have the tense, terse, dreamy, sexy, sensual, African, Nigerian, nature and various tones underlying each poem. And this is a good thing as it confirms the poet’s dexterity to be dynamic.
Imagery was employed throughout the poem. The poetic landscape is ever-changing and through object description, we can decipher where a particular poetic action happens. One ample depiction of good imagery is SPLASH. Just the name sends images of water rushing through our thoughts.
There is avid use of symbols through the work. For example, the poem WOMAN is a symbol of all that women represent in the society.
While it’s easier to point out spelling errors in a prose or drama, it is always intricately difficult to do same for poetry because we can’t think for the poet. Studying Woman for this review was exciting and though I found some distracting details like in BEAUTIFUL DISTRACTION, line 12 says …“Never had laugh so deep” I tend to think “Never laughed so deep” should be proper but it could also be deliberate hence we can say the poetic license covers up for that. In summary, I’ll say the work was well-edited.
The rhyme scheme of WOMAN is well articulated though not all following an order but at above average, it has an impressive rhyme scheme.
I decided to add this in appraisal of the work and for becoming poets. When you pick the book and read through, you will discover that each poem has a verse pattern of either four lines per verse or three. One of the poems has eight lines per verse and a total of three verse. That should be THE DIALOGUE. I mark the thoughtfulness of the poet to have an established verse pattern.
And that does it for this review of Sandra T. Adeyeye’s “Woman: A Collection of Poems on Womanhood and Being an African Woman.” Get ready for our next review and you can drop your comments in the section below.
Thanks for having us on this one.