The 101 free-verse poems that comprise Sepotli Alpheus Mekwa’s Collection of Poems concern three general themes: romantic love and relationships, Christian spirituality, and the meaning of life.
In “Rejected in Love,” for example, the speaker agonizes about a recent setback in a relationship: “To be rejected in love is never a great feeling to feel/ It makes me feel less of a man…” His approach to Christianity is reflected in “Jesus the Son of Men,” which considers the role Christ plays in his followers’ lives: “Jesus is the son of men/ He lives in us/ His teaching also need [sic] to lives [sic] in us.” And when it comes to the ups and downs of life, the author recognizes that times can be hard, as in “How Does It Feel”: “How does it feel to be alone?// I can tell you, it is not a good feeling to feel.”
As the above lines show, the poems in this collection are generally written in a straightforward, prose-like manner. They are raw and expository, rather than revealing their meaning through fresh imagery and sensory detail. Mekwa’s pieces alternate between simple statements of received wisdom (“True beauty comes from within”; “The greatest gift of life is to be born”) and statements that read much like journal entries, written for the author, rather than with readers in mind (“I fear myself/ I fear what I can achieve if I will confront my fear”).
Overall, the material here lacks artful diction, emotional nuance, and concrete detail. It would be greatly strengthened by focusing on particular people, places, and things and by recounting specific experiences associated with them. There are also numerous grammatical errors, which undercut the author’s clarity and authority.
While these poems will appeal to the author’s family and friends, their general and abstract nature will likely make it difficult for the book to engage serious readers of contemporary poetry.
Also available as an ebook.