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Reviews

Joe’s Collectanea – a captivating anthology of poems

“Joe’s Collectanea” is a captivating anthology of poems by the talented author, Joshua Omeke. Released just two months ago through Harmony Publishing Ltd, the anthology is a testament to Omeke’s mastery in crafting interwoven narratives that seamlessly blend personal experiences, vivid imagination, and the power of language.

Comprising thirty-one evocative poems, Omeke’s work delves into a wide array of subjects, each dissected with a precision that is uniquely his own. From “Anarchiste Diplomatique” to “Ramshackle Emote” and “Emotions and Idioms,” Omeke skillfully weaves reality and figurative language into his verses, providing readers with a thought-provoking exploration of societal norms.

In “A Coloured Dream,” Omeke boldly examines the aspirations of African youth seeking opportunities abroad, resonating with a wide audience who can relate to the challenges and dreams of a better future. One standout piece, the sestina “Life,” challenges readers to think critically about the symmetrical mechanisms inherent to the human experience, presenting a narrative that is both compelling and intimidating in its depth. Another, “Portrait of Her Lifestyle” redefines the perception of feminism, breathing new life into the respect commanded by women in society. Each poem, whether “Undies Evolution,” “Problem,” “The Jinn of Sahara,” “Tommy, My Watch,” or “The Stupor,” tells a distinct story, showcasing Omeke’s ability to navigate diverse themes with skillful precision.

While “Joe’s Collectanea” lacks a conventional linear narrative, its finely crafted verses are a testament to Omeke’s ability to challenge and engage readers. His work transcends religious boundaries, as demonstrated in “My Body, My Mind,” offering a narrative that speaks to believers of various faiths.

Omeke’s work is a testament to his radical approach, seamlessly transitioning from personal experiences to societal explorations, capturing the essence of diversity and faith in a single volume. I confirm the author is a radical because the previous poems evaluated personal experiences and societal approaches. Whereas in “A Friend of Mine” Omeke touches on the cores of diversity—switching from talking about diversity to faith, followed by “Ramshackle emote” an exposition of distinct emotions in one topic.

“Joe’s Collectanea” is a mosaic of thought-provoking adventures, inviting readers to grapple with uncertainty and introspection. As Omeke’s words come to life on each page, they serve as a testament to his ability to captivate, challenge, and inspire.

The Collectanea discusses pronounced controversial topics such as Love in the work “Romance in Poetry,” and “Long Lost Love.” Another concern is Labourers affairs in “Danilo the Farmboy”, Religion in “A Surrendered Man,” Philosophy with “Composure,” “Flies of wilderness” and “Epiphany of life”, Global Warming with “Roots are before the log pt 2”, COVID-19 with “The Plague in our waves”, travel writing by depicting “Joe’s Collectanea from Ghana side.”

There are other works that can be versed as a must-read when flipping pages before settling to read all these are “Ache of Waters” centered on evaluating struggles and being accustomed to them. In other references, the writer tells a story of colonialism in Africa and its neo-colonial practices that stench the effort of its settlers in the poem “Anarchiste Diplomatique”. With a mild interjection “Grass of our time” centers on cravings by collectors of nicotiana and how they are so attached to the strands regardless of the health risks associated with their perpetual practices. The few titles reviewed in this article are not conjunctional to the table of contents, they appeared according to my preference in reviewing Joe’s Collectanea and it is a commendable literary material.

Luckily, the anthology does not contain explicit wordings and can be used by literature teachers, who desire to teach their students the diverse themes of poetry. Especially in narrative poetry which features portraitures, that encompass the writer’s strengths.

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