Infinite Love

Therese Ndaya Mbayi

Publisher: Trafford Pages: 82 Price: (paperback) $8.99 ISBN: 9781490725208 Reviewed: June, 2015 Author Website: Visit »

The poems in Infinite Love are intended as “a source of hope to those who believe that they can make the impossible happen,” according to the back-cover. The collection offers 12 free-verse poems in all, each comprised of several numbered sections. It begins with a poem called “Grace” and ends with “Breakthrough.”

The poems, while creatively imagined, rely more on clichés and abstractions than on distinctive, showing details. For instance: “I long to pursue my winning race/ […] Decisive and resolute to give rise to a new dawn/I believe to be as infinite as the stars in the sky.” The speaker’s desire for success and happiness is presented throughout in generic statements devoid of personalizing context or backstory. As a consequence, it’s hard for readers to identify with the specific challenges the speaker mentions. The speaker says, “Rolling and stumbling I dare to break every wall of prejudice,” yet readers wonder, “What kinds of prejudice does she face? How does she ‘break’ through?”

Although the poems’ titles suggest a progression toward the speaker’s “Breakthrough,” the language used and sentiments expressed in each poem are largely repetitive, replete with abstract words — such as “love,” “beauty,” “loneliness,” and “destiny” — that are paired with overused nature imagery, including “dawn,” and “stars.” Often, it’s difficult to make logistical sense of these images, as in: “a stream running on earthworm/Breezeless appeals without fling” and “Like a turbulence fluttering a breeze of late survival.”

Overall, the writing frequently oscillates between vague and confusing descriptions (“a drizzle of candle glittering at the venue”) and grandiose assertions (“I am an elite designed to reign”).

These poems may appeal to the author’s family and friends and to habitual readers of the light verse and self-help genres. More sophisticated contemporary poetry fans, however, will be disappointed by this collection’s persistent lack of specificity, clarity, and original imagery.

Author's Current Residence
Great Britain
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