The Ordeals

R.I. Iyemere

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 154 Price: (paperback) 13.99 UK ISBN: 9781479732760 Reviewed: January, 2013 Author Website: Visit »

The “ordeals” referenced in the title concern physical and emotional traumas suffered by the author’s daughter, Ada-Emilia Ruth Valmori, in the final two months of her life. The author writes: “I have one burning desire; to bring you back to life if this is possible and if not; / To make the world aware of all the troubles of our hearts and what led to these, / For thinking minds with hearts and not lion claws as hearts would have been more cautious!”

The nonlinear story of Ada-Emilia’s last days is told in poems that often read like prose and are punctuated by lengthy, repetitive diversions into the author’s emotional devastation (“My world is empty since the eleventh; my glass is not half full, it’s dried out”). In total, the collection provides only sketchy information about the author’s claim of medical negligence. It appears that Ada-Emilia, a diabetic, was constipated and bloated, which doctors linked to Grave’s Disease. Given an injection in the ambulance, she died shortly afterward in the hospital. The author cites poverty as a contributing factor in the substandard medical treatment: “Most they said were inconsistence for daughter of the poor; discrepancies; even/ time her life ended!”

Iyemere blames various medical personnel (“I will never forget that day that Mr Tongue-tied was thirsty for your blood!”). But accusations and scant facts do not offer readers enough evidence to fully understand the case, only to conclude that Iyemere still grieves and blames herself: “I’ve been a lousy mother to Ada-Emilia hence she’s no longer amongst the living.”

Occasional foreign-language poems (with no translation or explanation) add another obstructing layer to fully understanding this story, as do awkward word choices (“Mr Cocky Cocky”), typographical errors, and vague references to people and places.

Though a loving tribute for Ada-Emilia’s friends and relatives, the book’s challenges make it unlikely to attract few outside the family’s inner circle, other than perhaps other grieving parents.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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