TITLE: BROKEN STRINGS AUTHOR: TAI OMOAKIN GENRE: POETRY NO. OF PAGES: 58 YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2020 ISBN: 978-978-984-519-4 PUBLISHER: AUTHORPEDIA PUBLISHERS REVIEWER: EUGENE YAKUBU
OmoAkin invites us into the world of her poetry with simple and casually-written verses inspired by themes of longing, desire, memory and dashed hopes. It is always not hard to see what she tries to achieve on first glance at her poems, usually arriving to the end of her verse with little or no more signification achieved. And that’s the beauty of her poems, its unitary subject matter, its simplistic diction and relatable voice.
She pours out her heart into her poems, making the collection a whining, desperate attempt to engage with her feelings, emotions and relationships. An abiding theme in her poetry is the place of longing and how dashed hopes empties the heart and leaves space for memories to take over.
In the poems, the poet personae filled up her mind and heart with memories of the object of her love that she fears losing it. She says in the poem Beautiful Surprise “Life, painted on the canvas of love, is surreal” and she wouldn’t want moments “devoid” of her lover’s love. The poet persona dotes on the object of her love wishing it to complete her.
Even though at best the poems aren’t artistically-charged, the voice is natural and honest, laden with emotions and longing that it is hard not to feel and melancholy for lost memories and past relationships.
There’s something infantilized about the poet’s longing, some sort of first-love memories and affection that haunts the verses to the end. And she might have poured her heart into her poems, which of course is a virtue of good poetry, but her treatment of the subject matter is surreal and petty and readers aren’t allowed to see how the poet engages with these issues in a way that wouldn’t turn out clichéd as this collection has done.
Nonetheless, OmoAkin shows commendable adeptness with structure and tone, her rhythm is near perfect and the atmosphere and mood of her poems couldn’t have been better. Broken Strings isn’t clouded with irrelevant allusions and over-flowery diction.
OmoAkin translates her soul just as she has been inspired and was more interested in communicating than trying to impress readers. It is a commendable effort and in no distance time, if the poet hangs around a little longer to discover her voice, she’d be an artist to contend with.