A Book of Poetic Wisdom – A Review of Tolu Akinyemi’s Dead Cats Don’t Meow

Book Title: Dead Cats Don’t Meow: Don’t waste the ninth life

Author: Tolu A. Akinyemi                                   

Year of Publication: 2019

Number of Pages: 113                        
Category: Poetry

Cats are said to have nine lives and a reputation for getting out of sticky situations unscathed. While some of us despise them and avoid them when they meow, Tolu A. Akinyemi believes that a cat’s meow is a sign that it is alive. Indeed, in his poetry collection, Dead Cats Don’t Meow, he says that while you’re here, you can find your own voice, and he makes a passionate plea to readers to avoid the perils of squandering the ninth life.

The more than 90 poems in Tolu A. Akinyemi’s collection are meditative and accessible for anyone attempting to be more, and are inspired by the nine lives myth referred to by William Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet.

The most obvious aspect of Dead Cats Don’t Meow is that it encourages and assists readers in taking action. The book’s pieces are delivered with passion, poem after poem. Because of its unapologetic honesty, “My Story” begs to be read aloud. “Tell them I would bark like a dog/ Not minding whose ox was gored/ Tell them I was not afraid of a crowd/ My confidence level was gold.”

This collection is full of zeal as it addresses the author’s life and other issues. He does so in simple language, pumping his readers up for a short period of time before throwing them into economic issues as he dives into saying a lot about Nigeria’s most populous city.

There are open conversations about hopelessness. Depression and Suicidal Thoughts” might stick with the reader because it contains striking lines between acceptance and giving up. Toxic relationships are mentioned elsewhere in the book, and there is also pain. It’s worth noting, however, that Akinyemi’s poetry collection is always optimistic, even when dealing with difficult subjects.

Furthermore, the book’s poems are brimming with rhymes, as evidenced by “Mistakes,” which discusses how we all make mistakes at some point in our lives and why we should give second chances, but the author rarely employs figurative language to express himself clearly in his poems.

Akinyemi writes about love and romance, discussing the expectations and realities of love. It is unclear how this relates to the underlying message that the author wishes to convey.

Akinyemi concludes the book by challenging readers to “Be magical/ Do the impossible/ Give that stumbling block a finishing punch/Like Scorpion in a Mortal Kombat game/ Hug the finishing line in ecstasy / Similar to the lovable super Mario / Don’t settle for indolence/ Be magical.”

Dead Cats Don’t Meow serves as a reminder to follow your passion, feel empowered, and find some motivation to achieve success.

About the reviewer

Titilade Oyemade is a business executive in a leading organisation and holds a degree in Russian Language. She’s the convener of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. Titilade spends her weekends attending women conferences, events and book readings. She loves to have fun and to help other women have the same in their lives. Email: titi.oyemade@gmail.com Social: @tiipree

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