Book Reviews & Recommendations
Eloquence, Rhythm & Renaissance
As poetry collections go, the ones that tend to stand out are those in which the poet unabashedly delves deep into the nether regions of the mind, body, and spirit, taking the reader on an undaunted journey of esoteric enlightenment - and Eloquence, Rhythm & Renaissance falls right in line with that group.
A moving collection of poetry, prose, and short stories by Usiku, Eloquence touches on a vast range of topics, but it draws its greatest strength from laying bare the most common everyday issues/situations confronting us all. Take for example, this passage from “A Humanly Being”:
“Doesn’t let wrongs stay long
“Quality without compromise
Such passages capture the trials and triumphs of common humanity in pointed, straightforward language, illustrating the daily internal battles that drive and unite us all.
It is well known, though, that poetry often best connects with readers when it comes to matters of the heart, and in this area Eloquence certainly doesn’t fall short. Usiku manages to illustrate both the joy and pain that love can bring quite vividly, as in this passage from “Reconsidering”:
“Trying to understand you
“If your second incarnation is lightning joining earth and ozone then let mine be thunder rolling over Blue Ridge Mountains.”These sentiments are sure to reverberate throughout the very fiber of anyone who has ever been in love.
A compelling, well-crafted ensemble, Eloquence, Rhythm & Renaissance is a literary treat sure to please poetry lovers from all walks of life - and it may just win over a few new converts before all is said and done
Title: Eloquence: Rhythm & Renaissance
Genre: Poetry, prose poetry, short stories
Usiku's work is magnificently written. He has an amazing mastery of the English language and his nature imagery is especially breathtaking. The poems and stories cover wide-ranging human universal themes such as love, religion, nature and family, and are each boldly presented in a genuine, powerful African-American voice. His book is divided into eight sections, each with its own broad theme. The short works range in length from poems of just a few lines to stories a few pages long. Some works are humorous while others will bring tears to your eyes. Even where his perspective and my own differ, I always found his words to be both passionate and thought-provoking. These poems linger in your mind long after you put the book down. His are the sort of images that drift back into your mind days, even weeks later, when you least expect it, forming new connections in your spirit. Some of my personal favorites are: "To: Natural, My Love," (a poem on the beauty of natural African curls), "Darkness Wings," "Buffalo Creek Crossing," "Why We Need Peach Trees & Kids," "Basic Needs & the 'N' Word," and the humorously, yet truthfully shocking "Some Dreams Seem So Real..." Usiku's words reclaim, embrace and proclaim the beauty, power and dignity of the Black experience, and in so doing, reveal a deep and moving power to love and heal. D. Ash, Editor of Expanded Horizons Originally posted on Bookshare on Livejournal
Eloquence: Rhythm & Renaissance
Appreciating, absorbing, appreciating.
(from “Eloquence”) From his play on words “(L)imitations” as “impostors” to nature coiled in humanity, Usiku shares insights of life’s journey in this thought-provoking book. Usiku’s soul liquefies words as they flow in rivulets across the pages evoking our spirit, memories and call to nurture nature. Casserole
and the everyday
oven just warm enough.
(from “Composure”) We often seek inspiring quotes to uplift and guide us. Eloquence contains powerful and motivating writing that makes us mindful of the extraordinary in ordinary. Eloquence: Rhythm & Renaissance is filled with passion and creativity that is wonderfully refreshing. I highly recommend this reading. Jeisea Ni
Byron Bay, Australia
CRPS/RSD A Better Life
Stimulates the Mind . . . December 18, 2007
By SistahFriend Book Club (www.sistahfriend.com)
I really enjoyed this book! I am a lover of spoken word and poetry that depicts life and situations artistically. I would really recommend this book to anyone who enjoys poetry that stimulates the mind while providing a thought provoking journey.5 of 5 Sistah Hugs
Sistah Crystal of the SistahFriend Book Club