For thousands of years mystics and prophets have sought to find God in the mightiest of creations, as well as in the smallest of things. In The Lord is Love, author Nizza Ohovwore follows in this long tradition.
Ohovwore’s collection of over 300 poems offers themes and ideas that run the gamut, from the sacred to the profane, the lofty to the everyday. His subjects include the parables of Jesus, the Ten Commandments, fornication, adultery, a teddy bear, soft drinks, actor Will Smith, an air conditioner, angels, and even 80’s pop starlet Debbie Gibson. Each idea serves as a jumping off point for the author to express his most intimate thoughts on God.
Unfortunately, this intimacy, which serves as the book’s greatest asset, is also its most intense flaw. The book clocks in at 452 pages. For this, Ohovwore should be commended, not only for his tenacity, but his knowledge of the Bible and sacred tradition. But the poems almost seem too personal: his stream-of-consciousness style, often more prose than poetry, can be overwhelming and is often downright confusing and inaccessible. For example: “That insanity actually means the act of / doing things without a good mind. And a / good mind is supposed to be the ideal / woman or regarded in the Book of Genesis / as the tree of Life.”
Is the ambiguity here intentional or is Ohovwore just in need of a good editor? It’s unclear because at times there are gems to be mined, including “The Millipede,” which ends by stating that the bizarre-looking bug is “the intelligence hidden / Behind the meaning of our existence.” That which incarnates the millipede, Ohovwore seems to say, incarnates you and me. It’s a beautiful moment.
It seems that the author and his readers would have been better served with a shorter, more focused work that would have allowed thoughtfulness like this to shine.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.