In this poetry collection, African-born author Amadou B.H. Sey writes about universal subjects such as oppressive government regimes and sexism, as well as personal dilemmas, including crowded living space and loneliness.
The author employs occasional rhyme, alliteration, and repetition to explore his general themes of politics, peace, freedom, relationships, and God. He also shares opinions about the ills in today’s society. In “Stop Bleaching,” for example, he encourages women to stop lightening their dark skin. “Black is beautiful, don’t you know* [sic] / Don’t be so doorsill [sic] madam / Feel confident in your colour / This natural colour is your complexion.” Likewise, “In Rags They Show Off,” laments scandalous attire worn by today’s youth: “Looks awkward in young ones, on display of muscles / These aren’t forever / Remember as you bloom in your hay days /Thus trance [sic] in half-naked dresses.”
Although Sey covers a range of interesting subjects and attempts to go beneath the surface, an apparent language barrier poses a significant obstacle to reader comprehension and enjoyment. Incorrect word choices, such as “doorsill” and “dorsal” instead of “docile,” and repeated use of “trance” instead of “prance” are among many such errors.
Punctuation, spelling, and organizational problems also impede meaning and a reader’s ability to appreciate this work. Through careful study, readers may be able to ascertain the author’s intent with each poem, but individual lines and phases are often indecipherable. Nearly every poem contains unclear phrases, such as “Grey hairs upsetting those in retard.”
With aggressive editing, Sey’s heartfelt poetic observations about the politics and people of Africa could be improved and appeal to a broader readership. He might also consider organizing his work into thematic sections. As it stands, however, his book provides a challenging reading experience.
Also available as an ebook.