TITLE: I AM MEMORY
AUTHOR: JUMOKE VERISSIMO
NUMBER OF PAGES: 66
PUBLISHER: DESIGN AND DREAM ARTS ENTERPRISES
DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2008
REVIEWER: Shoola Oyindamola
Jumoke Verissimo’s ‘I AM MEMORY’ is a well penned book.
I first saw it on a list of ‘TOP TEN NIGERIAN POETRY BOOKS TO READ’ and, upon receiving the hard copy of the book, I was very curious to know why it was on that list, especially given its petit size. After reading the very warm comment on the back cover of the book by Odia Ofeimun, author of THE POET LIED), I knew that it just had to be one very good book.
I was right.
All the poems in I AM MEMORY are entwined with this thing called ‘memory’ and its power to remain alive, in its full colors, reuniting ‘yesterdays’ and ‘todays’.
I would say the poems present her version of events and she seems to have owned every bit of it. This book successfully unwrapped the wounds of history that time has refused to heal.
In the first 16 pages, my best part of the book, Jumoke displayed the mass affection of a helpless romantic, so submissive to love that I concluded that ‘rehab cannot save this one’.
Lost in her presentation of seduction, love, and romance, I really wished that Ajani (one special character in the collection) was real because her love for him was well versed, vividly painted with good imagery.
I AM MEMORY also successfully scribbled the history of Nigeria and some of the nations’ prominent leaders whose works and lives have been trapped in the webs of death and memories.
Jumoke book seems to compel the readers to value moments and ensure that time or death will not have the power to erase the memories created. It certainly deserves to be on that list and I definitely recommend it to many writers.
SHOOLA OYINDAMOLA was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria. She is a published poet, a feminist, a mentor, a blogger and Co-founder and Resource manager of Sprinng Literary Movement. She loves to writes poems, essays and her non-classifiable opinions. She uses her writing skills with her feminist drive to discuss the gender injustices that need to be fixed. She published her first collection of poems titled “Heartbeat” in New York, USA at the age of 16.