TITLE: WHEN GOD FALLS IN LOVE
AUTHOR: OLUWATOSIN OLABODE
PUBLISHER: WORDS RHYMES AND RHYTHMS LTD
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2018
NO. OF PAGES: 66
REVIEWER: EUGENE YAKUBU
When God Falls in Love is a morality poem set against a Judaeo-Christian backdrop of faith, grace, piety and the quest for salvation. The verses are lyrical and can pass for religious hymns, as well as deeply humane poetry.
This collection of poetry is generally accommodating, comprehensible and relatable because of its prosaic nature and the poet’s intentional and direct reference to a reader who hears the writer’s voice in his head pricking his conscience, questioning his livelihood and nourishing his soul.
In the poem The Bible and the Human Race, the poet queries atheists and agnostics for not believing in a God they cannot see yet believing in a future that is unseen and intangible. In a sarcastic way, he queries atheists for calling believers “stupid” for believing in an “invisible God” (9). In a flowery personification, he sees atheist’s “…ignorance dancing in the garment of/ enlightenment” (10), who count on their intellect to debunk the existence of a supreme God.
In the witty and assertive poem What Grace Does, the poet reifies the abstract noun “Grace” until it lingers in the reader’s mind like a concrete object. It is poetically charged with refined metaphors and alluring rhymes and rhythms. The poem subjectivizes the virtue “grace” in definitive qualities.
For example, in a metrical rhyme he writes “Grace is a call to surrender/ and not a stimulant for further blunder/ It is the intention of the cross/ not the product of our works” (12). Noting how the poet uses choicely words to drive his points home, isn’t it just beautiful that a poet could, among the uncountable words available, still pick ones that fits the most to convey his stream of thought? This is a laudable feat and When God Falls in Love practically achieved this.
The eponymous poem When God Falls in Love is a free verse lyrical octave. Its enormous lines and rhythmic flow exposes its musicality. Its detailed description and metaphoric lines will enchant any reader.
The poet’s keen expression revels in the careful choice of diction. For instance, he poeticizes God’s fervency for his love ones as “[w]ritting… [their] name[s] on his palm in rosy fonts”. The poet’s acute imagination reverberates in metaphoric acuity. God’s enormous love for his people is expressed in hyperbolic term as “counting the strands of [their] hair”.
Poems like What’s Most Important? are poetic as well as motivational. It educates the reader to invest his time, choose his company, and reach out rather than to expect. It also teaches the reader to be humane in a world drunk with materialism and social status.
The elusive flaw in the collection may be its mono-thematic perspective. This singularity of ideas and circumscription of creativity has nonetheless left the collection tediously wearing and monotonous.
Admittedly, this is a genuine effort by a pious poet trying to reconcile his soul with his maker and also nourish his readers’, it has however overlooked the varieties of audience and readers with its singular theme and left them wanting more of the turgid metaphors, adorned diction and concise language but in more nuanced ways and diversified themes.
This collection has chunks of Biblical allusions which the poet uses to back his ideas. It can pass for a social reference for religious scholars trying to decipher the place of religion and spirituality in poetry.
It is also highly recommended for people, especially Christians trying to make sense of their place in the world and understand God. When God Falls in Love teaches moral virtues in interesting manner with radiating words and diction. The references to the Bible verses will serve as a guide to any Christian reader willing to draw out motivation and direction from the Bible.
In a world where everything seems empty and banal, humanistic poems and moral arts become inevitably worthwhile. When God Falls in Love should be valued far above its aesthetics, above its literariness and appraised as a morality bible trying to reconcile man to his inner conscience, and to his soul.
This collection goes beyond words lying gloriously on paper, it will tell every reader a thing about himself, and it will nourish souls and revitalize shattered hopes.