Soul Mates in a Discourse in Anthony Onugba’s Lone
Anthony Onugba’s book of 60 poems is an enchanting collection of metered verses. Lone is a product of the author’s charming and fertile imagination. One finds the writer writing with a measured elegance and distilled poetic imageries as he captures two passionate soul mates in dramatic dialogues. This book wraps the reader with warmth, meaning, and pleasures. Indeed, it’s a book of diverse poetic meanings even though its title hints at solitariness. It is only fair that one shares a private and cherished reading of this book with others.
In the preface to this collection, Zimbabwean author and chief editor at Writers Space Africa literary magazine Comfort Nyati; executes a fine job of providing a hint of the book’s contents for the reader. Here, we discover Lone “is an illustrated tour that parades through the mysterious landscape of life occurrences.”
Lone opens with a heavenly vision of streets “paved with gold.” The poet captures this in the opening poem, “My Pearl,” where we also find creatures “wingless but radiant.” The theme of exploration is evident in some of the poems. In part one, called “origin,” we find Angel in lamentation after a search that bears nothing. Titled “Fruitless,” this poem is taut, yet it vividly captures the desolation of its poetic character: “flowers searching/nothing finding.” Flowers, as reflected here, could be a metaphor for something sweet and satisfying, a hint for a dear and intimate treasure. The opening poems reflect a jealous and passionate character as mirrored here: “with her, someone speaks/with no one, I wait/his jokes, she laughs at/his words flame my heart/for me, let her be/happiness to give.”
Despondency is echoed in “Misery,” as one finds the poetic persona saying: “All day I search/through bushes, thick/nothing to find…/nothing to pluck.” It becomes more apparent that Angel is determined to have Pearl at all costs when he says, “be none but mine/my heart is thine.”
The other two halves of Lone, “precipice” and “denouement,” capture the exertions and passions of the two main dramatic characters in their attempts to become one. But a voice reveals something deeply troubling in the poem, “Flee, I must”: “my heart, for him yearns/scared am I, truly!”
The essential elements of poetry are evident in this book by Anthony Onugba, a visionary writer and founder of the renowned Writers Space Africa literary organization and magazine, www.writersspace.net. Lone is essentially a poetic journey between soul mates and is guaranteed to enchant through its use of dramatic monologues. The poet writes with clarity, even though his lines are inverted for poetic effect in some instances.
In more ways than one, Lone is a fine work of the imagination with sufficient literary beauty rendered through short metered verses and a host of poetic devices such as inversions, alliterations, repetitions, and so much more. The strength of this book is its focus on our common humanity and universal themes such as the longing for companionship, beauty, love, and other tender emotions. These issues the poet has focused on using a language that is accessible, crisp, and dignified. Lone is a gorgeous collection of poems with warmth and beauty. The reader will never be lonely after reading this book because an almost palpable impact will linger for a long time afterward, regardless of this statement of the poet in the closing poem: “but this fact I know…/lone I am today/lone to be…always!”
Lone is available at www.anthonyonugba.com, and elsewhere.