“Lost in a Quatrain” by Adiela Akoo

This is an anthology of poems, many of them autobiographical in nature, detailing the poet’s inner life, her faith and her reaction to her environment. In total, it is a wonderful mosaic of a thoughtful and feeling life. Individually, the separate poems are of uneven quality. 

Some of the most successful of these works are sound poems, redolent with alliteration. Some of the least successful are those in traditional form, where the structure and substance of the language is twisted to fit an arbitrary rhyme scheme. 

Once again I am forced to remind poets that one wonderful aspect of their art is that it frees them from the strictures that prose places on punctuation. However, with freedom comes responsibility. Poets must decide what commas and periods are for, and make certain they use them for that purpose. If a comma stops a phrase in the middle, it has been misplaced. Poets, read your poems out loud to see if the punctuation aids the flow of the language and meaning or halts it. 

A minor point, but overuse of exclamation marks is a no-no in prose these days. It becomes obvious that the rule applies to poetry as well. If there is not enough emotion in the line leading up to it, an exclamation point will not fix the problem. 

Recommended for poetry fans who like their themes accessible and their poems mainly traditional in form.

3 out of 5 stars

 (3 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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