The Story of a Man

Jaribu Sasa

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 104 Price: (paperback) $15.99 ISBN: 9781453561669 Reviewed: November, 2013 Author Website: Visit »

Jaribu Sasa’s The Story of a Man is a collection of 95 short poems about love, lust, hope, astrology, and positivity. The language and concepts range from superficial topics told in street vernacular to beautifully descriptive poems of great depth.

For example, the lovely poem “Sunrise” explores nature using rhyme and imagery: “The Twilight Begins / To Break / The Dawn Is Now / Awake… / The Surprise’n / Horizen [sic] Clears / Like A Tear / When / Wiped / Away.” The non-rhyming “Nothing” gives readers something to contemplate: “Anything as we see it is not only / A manifestation of nothing / It is and isn’t simultaneously a / Mental creation…”

Conversely, lackluster pieces such as “Diane” (“Every time I see you / I’m glad to see you / Because I like you / A whole lot”) and “Pisces” (“Pisces, I see’s the way you lookin’ at dat star / Come on down to ground and show us whole [sic]/ you really are”) detract from Sasa’s more engaging pieces.

The book’s title comes from his similarly titled tribute to Muhammad Ali. Sasa writes: “HIS LEGEND IS TOLD / WITH RAGGING [sic] FIST SO FULL OF FIRE / EARTH CHAMPION WITH COURAGE TO INSPIRE.” It’s not clear why this poem and a few others contain all capital letters.

The collection includes profound pieces that might appeal to poetry lovers and New-Age thinkers, but it lacks an introduction, section headings, or dates on the work, all of which make it difficult for readers to understand the disparity of the poems and why they were included in the same collection. Such lack of organization, along with many stylistic errors (spelling, punctuation, grammar, font use) is likely to distract readers from the overall message.

While the book offers a number of highlights, it is in need of pruning and further polishing to make it a refined package with appeal to a wide audience of poetry readers.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
East Cleveland, Ohio
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