TITLE: A BOY’S TEARS ON EARTH’S TONGUE
AUTHOR: TUKUR OLORUNLOBA RIDWAN
NO. OF PAGES: 36
PUBLISHER: WORDS RHYMES AND RHYTHMS LTD
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2019
REVIEWER: EUGENE YAKUBU
Despite this baffling title, the poems in this collection leave the reader in no doubt of the poet’s thematic content and ideas in A Boy’s Tears on Earth’s Tongue. Ridwan’s poems are conversational and gives give the reader the feel of someone talking to him and informing him on diverse issues.
Maybe because of the poet’s use of the second person point of view in some of the poems or because of his ability to communicate in clear and precise diction, Ridwan has engaging poems that pricks the reader’s conscience.
He keeps talking to the reader in the poem Killing Suicide, “is this your way of chiding the womb that brought you to this market…?”, “… would you rather be a pregnant woman with a fruit without a farmer to stay…?” (10) such that the reader believes he is involved in the issue discussed.
Some of the poems are love poems, others erotic, still yet others orgasmic and the poet often veils the vulgarity and obscene images in carefully crafted metaphors and images that the reader rarely sees them or even know what they mean but feels what is being implied in the poems.
The poet makes fitting allusions to religion, classics and even to popular culture. He allows these allusions like “valentine’s day”, “Cinderella”, “Cleaopatra”, “Pyramids of Giza”, “shaytan in mecca”, and others that will inspire the reader to go out looking for what this terms and words denote and their relationship with the theme in the poems.
The diction is simple, relatable and the poems are short of metrical standards, possess no evident rhyme scheme or rhythm but the poet does well to dedicate his time to his theme, which is vital to society.
In the poem For those Whose Bodies Are Tales, the poet humane capability to side with the girl-child against the evil of sexual abuse by “boys who wear clothes bigger than their dreams & claim manhood”. This is a least-talked about aspect of the society, and the poet is brave enough to bring the issue to the fore. This and also the poem boyhood as a feeling which talks about men dying quietly under the guise of being manly all because of the ego and masculinity only to cry in private are important poems.
The poem Broken Mirror is an interesting and insightful read and the poet must have invested efforts in researching this topic which is now becoming the subject of debates in many conferences on gender: on people who don’t feel comfortable in their own sex and body and thus, act in contrast to their sexuality.
Ridwan is a promising poet, and his style, his themes are interesting.
His poetry which is almost prosaic and seeming like a narrative is inviting and will allow all sort of readers to comprehend and relate to his theme and style.