27 July 2017

Liberia: Book Review - Scary Dreams

Cover of Scary Dreams, a book of poems by Lekpele Nyamalon

Scary Dreams, an anthology of Liberia's 14-year civil war, paints the picture of the scares Liberians had to go through during the destructive wars that took the lives of over a quarter million people.

The book, authored by award winning poet Lekpele M. Nyamalon, is written in a distinctive style, making it an easy read, although it captures the horrors the author saw as a child, which ripped the nation apart only to leave the rest of the world to gather the shreds.

In this book, Nyamalon takes readers through the horror journeys of the crisis, and later moved on to the redemptive moments of forgiveness, the quest to settle for peace and hope for the future.

Scary Dreams covers stories of pain and love and the ugly side of politicians. The collection is full of honesty, facts and denies myth, which undermines the values of most anthology works. Each poem in the book clearly unveils the picture of the conflict in the mind of the reader, and evokes a sense patriotism to not ever engage in war.

In "Stray Bullet," the writer talks about the pains people go through when they watch their loved ones or friends killed by such bullets, which unexpectedly comes from the blindside.

"Masked in Darkness" is a poem that pays tribute to victims of the Lutheran Church Massacre, and its aftermath.

A poem like "You Rode My Back to Power" clearly talks about how politicians go down low to get citizens' votes, and then turn their backs and neglect the people after.

Moreover, all of the poems in this collection are straightforward and inspiring, with diverse subject matters. One poem depicts pain during the civil war; another love for country and quest for peace and maintaining it; still another laments the weak side of politicians.

As different as the poems are, they are unique stylistically with different meanings and different styles. For longer poems, they come with more figurative language; however, each work stays within its stylistic comfort zone.

At the end of the anthology, there are two bonus poems "Note to a Virgin" and "For the Girl Child." Both poems come with significant meaning, which justifies their inclusion. Scary Dreams is a collection that comes with a distinct sensibility that gives attention to a wide range of subjects.

Scare Dreams can be purchased on Amazon or contact the author on [email protected]

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