TITLE: I WROTE THIS FOR YOU
AUTHOR: SAMIRA HARUNA SANUSI
NUMBER OF PAGES: 60
PUBLISHER: WORDS RHYMES & RHYTHM PUBLISHERS
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2017
REVIEWER: JOSEPH OMOTAYO
This book is multi-shades of pains, brokenness, love, heartbreak and redemption all rolled up in one. Samira Haruna Sanusi uses deft artistry to chronicle tender emotions. I Wrote This For You is for the many scars that had healed into reminders and for others that fetters into salvation. This book is multi-dimensional, but above all it is the log book of survival, losses and re-survival.
I Wrote This For You cannot be easily classified. It is not poetry, it is not nonfiction.
You can put it as the blurred line between those two genres. However, if poetry is the compression of poignant thoughts in the way that they hit hard, poetry laces this book in unconventional ways. This book is poetry; this book is sweet prose – it is both all in a single book. This book should be performed someday, I Wrote This For You packs enough meaty-moving punch lines. I Wrote This For You is as performable as it readable on pages. This is beauty.
There are many things going on all at once here. Words are broken into ponderous epigrams that try to understand the human state of mind. The human condition is complex. It is the way Samira Haruna Sanusi demystifies this complexity that marvels. This book begins with the speaker broken, along the line she finds palliative love, she breaks down again, reasserts herself until she finds a relative definitive redemption. It is in this manner one can see this book as a literary chemotherapy for the broken.
The beginning of a good book should really be that place a reader is hooked. More so, it should be a feel of everything the book holds. This one begins well. This opener strikes an interesting curiosity:
My heart woke me crying last night
“How can I help?” I begged
My heart said, “Write the book!”
Life is an interconnected link of antitheses where the arrangement of events does not mostly make sense, but they all come together anyway to make life, life. We meet the speaker in this book at the epicentre of her lowest low, where ending it all is the mercy escape:
“There were times when I wanted to end my life to stop the pain and there were times when I was sure the pain would kill me, without me even choosing death.”
Amidst the many lines reeking of stark resignation, Samira Haruna Sanusi uses words in their wittiest ways to strike at deep reflection. In this book, every line is a quote to be framed and hung on the wall to remind yourself that yeah that’s me, I’ve been there too! This book is for everyone that has ever been down. Everyone has one time or the other in their felt like this. This is why this book is written for many. Jeez! This writer writes from a fount where pain flows easily with words. See here:
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
But that’s not all.
What doesn’t kill you leaves you awake at 2 in the morning, gasping for air…
As you flip fast through Samira’s weighty words, constant punch lines entertain you. These punch lines are intermittent relief coming from the writer’s tensed mood and tone. Glib lines like these ones captivate you:
“I’m a throwback to the time when my heart hurt but my lips still smiled.”
“My whole being is that of a hurricane, held together by relief materials. I will overcome, but first, I’ll need your donations and kindness.”
“Some of the hardest battles you’ll ever fight
Are the ones fought in what was once your heart
And now a war zone”
It is okay to break down and receive help when they come. No help is without motives. So it was stark suicidal when the speaker scorns help because it was condescending. You are in dire need of help, forget who is being messianic or not on your issue. The focus is help. Don’t over-essentialise it.
“I haven’t mastered the art of letting people take care of me because, when you stumble into their open and waiting arms while they pat your hair, remind you this too shall pass, as you finally break down and let it all out, occasionally apologizing for being silly enough to cry, and eventually feeling stupid for crying over something that may or may not matter, the realization hits you, that you have given these comforting hands and shoulders the title for savior.”
And just when you thought love has come to save the speaker, she later scorns it and soon we see her lover leaving her and the wrenching stereotypical heartbreak that follows moves greatly. Onwards, the speaker reasserts herself, depends on herself a bit too much, realises it, and soon offers pieces of advices on appreciating small helps.
I Wrote This For You is for everyone who has been there; that cliff where jumping off to end it all is the only choice of relief.
I like this book.
Author: Joseph Omotayo
@omotayo is a Nigerian reviewer and blogger. Some of his works are published at criticalliteraturereview.blogspot.com and josephomotayo.blogspot.com.