KWENU: Our Culture, Our Future
Book Title: Voices of Reason for Every Season
Author: Rozzie Diouf
Reviewer: Dr. Ejike Okonkwo
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Voices of Reason for Every Season is a newly published book of poetry. This book contains several inspirational poems that will definitely quiver and glitter the imagination of all rich minds that will come across it. Written by a relatively new comer, anyone who ventures to peruse through these poems will certainly concur that Rozzie Diouf is not a tenderfoot. She is truly a literary talent. The book conveys a picturesque portrayal of events that betide in our time as well as conversations that one often has with his or her creator in both times of despair and joy. The author captures the styles of Sheikh Anta Diop, John Pepper Clark, Maya Angelou, and Okot p'Bitek. The styles of these great poets were synthesized into an idyllic tour de force and genre as evidenced by several poems in the book.
Rozzie’s book of poetry is a compendium of life as lived by most people. One of the poems entitled “Secret Garden” begins with adumbration of dejection and ultimately ended with an ambience that certainly heralds jollity. This is not inconsistent with the principle of duality that guides our everyday life. Up and down, high and low, and positive and negative are some of the experiences in our lives that exemplify this duality. Another poem entitled “A Parents Love,” which is a rhythmic literary opus, dwells on platonic and unconditional love sans outright mollycoddle.
Although Ms. Diuof appears as a provocateur of sort if one reads only “Victim of Madness,” ”Wishful Thinking,” and “Emancipated Woman,” nonetheless, this notion becomes invalidated upon reading “One Family Under God,” “A Friend Who Cares,” and “Did You Know.” As a matter of fact, this book is a potpourri of poetic styles. Poems are often a rhythmic chant but, Voices of Reason for Every Season is more than a rhythmic chant. This book is also a philosophical ensemble of realities that embodies the very events that shape our lives and make our existence a worthy endeavor. Like every masterpiece, the poems in this book are embedded with imageries that readers will find amiable to unravel.
A literary debutant, Rose Odula Diouf was born in Kenya and educated in the United States of America. Her first book of poetry is a hint that she has more to offer scholarly. The poems explore the important theme of cultural and gender identity, but never become overly parochial or insular or ethnocentric but rather preferring a gentle build up of images to create pictures that depict real events. This is an art that many overtly parochial and gender-centric poets could do well to learn from. The author definitely has a bright literary future. This book of poems is a must read.
©Ejike Okonkwo, Ph.D.
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