Broken things can be beautiful too – A Review of Adeola Juwon Gbalajobi’s Ellipsis

Title: Ellipsis

Author: Adeola Juwon Gbalajobi

Publisher: The Roaring Lion Newcastle

Year of Publication: 2021

Number of pages: 52

Category: Poetry

“Three” – a magical number! In the history of man, three has always had an extraordinary significance in his formation. These tripartite traits of “three” break like ellipses into different phases and compartments of humans. For instance, birth, life, and death; past, present and future; beginning, middle, and end; body, soul, and spirit…

In the debut book of Adeola Juwon Gbalajobi’s Ellipsis, the author mirrors the realities of life: ups and downs; thrive and strive; healing and brokenness; love and lust; repentance and sin. The author doesn’t hide his vulnerabilities, for in these vulnerabilities lie his strength.

Like an ellipsis, the book is broken into three parts. The first part welcomes the reader with the words of Pablo Neruda: “Deny me bread, air, light, spring, but never your laughter for I would die.” This opening line gives an overview of what the reader should expect in the first part. This is evident in the poem To the Girl Who Taught Me that Ruins Can Be Beautiful. The poem describes a broken boy who finds love. Say, after several heartbreaks, he eventually finds someone who shows him “true love.” As Neruda said, you can deny me everything, but not your laughter. The persona has found love but what happens if the girl denies him her laughter and love? The other poems in this part reveal that. But then, a reader should anticipate more of love, heartbreak, and lust.

In the second part, the author welcomes the reader with Psalms 42:1 “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” This part has a religious undertone. In the poem Song 001, the persona sings praises and hymns to God. The persona can be likened to the prodigal son in the scripture. The other poems in this part delve deeper into reverences for God, a call for repentance, and high hope of better days ahead.

In the last part, the author opens it with “There is a storm in my mind.” A collection of poems by Jide Badmus. This part reveals the notion behind the author’s book, Ellipsis. This part mirrors the struggles individuals face on a quotidian basis. It can be seen in the light of struggles with self, struggles with one’s family, and struggles with the society/world. In the poem For Ellipses, the author metaphorically describes broken boys as ellipsis… This part revolves around brokenness, depression, grief, oppression, and everything in between.

The author is a cognoscente of simplicity and this is evident in this collection of poems. His choice of words is deliberately chosen to suit the messages to garner from the poems. Adeola Juwon Gbalajobi’s debut is a piece of outstanding creativity and every human should read. It reflects your journey and mine. It gives the reader a sense of “I see your pains and struggles. Trust me, you’re not alone. I’ve had a fair share and I still do.”

About the Reviewer:

Akinrinade Funminiyi Isaac is a Nigerian realtor and writer with works appearing in Writers Space Africa Magazine, Stardust Haiku, Olney Magazine, Praxis Magazine, Word Rhymes and Rhythm (WRR) and elsewhere. He’s an ardent lover of art and a promoter of poetry. He’s the initiator of two poetry collections: Si(gh)lent Night (2017) and 60 Seconds Silence (2020). He’s the lead consultant @keksconsult, a digital writing consultancy company.

Social media handles:

Facebook: Akinrinade Funminiyi Isaac

LinkedIn: Funminiyi Akinrinade

Instagram and Twitter: @esv_keks

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