Title: Beautiful, One
Publisher: Biege and Crow
Number of pages: 29
Year of publication: 2018
By Agbonmire Ifeh
‘Love is joy
Like a baby finds in its toy
Yet a weakness …
Love will hurt you
Love will heal you
Love will pay you
and love will bill you’- ‘Hate Love’, RezthaPoet
The reviews placed in the covers of books these days are one liners. Examples are ‘Captivating’ by The Guardian, ‘Astonishing’ by The Sun … these lavish superlatives try to trick you into reading the book. At the end of the day, would you be captivated or astonished? My one liner for this chapbook corresponds with it’s title- … a beautiful one!
The millennium brought about people with multiple careers, Adebola Afolabi with the performance name of RezthaPoet is a poet, a poetographer and a Spoken word artist. He is also a business consultant and a mentor of many start-ups. A Jack of many trades, master of poetry.
Beautiful One is a collection of 11 poems. It is a beautifully packaged book with background pictures on every page. In physical form, it will make a good coffee table book. My favourite poem which appears last in the collection is “Hate Love”, it is filled with deep lines that make your mind ponder, and sounds well when performed in spoken word; the lyricism and flow delights.
‘I wish I can put my emotions on a flat line’
The first poem ‘The Yesterday After We Met’ and the second poem ‘Jungle Fever’ recounts the poet sucked into love’s vortex. The poet bought a ring the yesterday after he met his love interest and in the second poem he has a fever because of love. Many words have been written about love and a poet has to make sure his works do not feel or sound cliché. This poet stays clear of cliché of form or words.
RezthaPoet goes steamy in the third poem that follows, teasing his entrapped lover with the physical things he wants to do to her.
‘I want to kiss you, so my breathe can linger on like balms’
In the fourth and fifth poems in the collection, he shows his dexterity in languages by writing poems in pidgin and Yoruba respectively. These two languages are good for sensual talk and these poems convey the full force of desire and want.
Beautiful One is a chapbook designed to satisfy the demand of people who are in love with love. It connects with the need to capture that affecting urge you feel for someone and cannot express. This chapbook will mold out your giddy feelings and lay them bare for your significant other to see. The poet meets the demand of a love collection; it is a mirror of your feelings.
Pablo Neruda, whose real name is Ricardo Eliezer Neftali Reyes y Basoalto, is well known for his love poems and his sensual writings. RezthaPoet is no Neruda but is clearly imitating Neruda’s style of packing so much emotions in words and imagery. RezthaPoet is not yet an expert in linking relationships and feelings of people with the world and the elements just like Neruda was able to do, but he is off to a great start.
I discovered RezthaPoet’s works on Facebook in the early 2000s when the social network had a huge amount of poets. It was easy to garner a lot of likes and adorning comments by friends which produced immediate gratification for the facebook poets. Most Facebook Poets never worked on their craft and so did not make the leap to publishing a book or a chapbook. REZthaPoet has shown that maturation as he previously released a spoken word collection called Exposit with its attendant E-book, and has performed his works on major creative art and culture stages across Africa. Beautiful, One, is his second body of work.
Beautiful, One is a slim mix of language and enticing imagery. It has all the hallmarks of what made Facebook Poets a zing in its hay days, which is accessibility. This is not the headache inducing poetry that ticks people of, instead this is poetry in the words of Tolu’ Akinyemi, ‘poetry for people who hate poetry’.
The critics will agree that this is a beautiful outing.