Book Review: Ocean Tide by Dowell Oba

Book Review: Ocean Tide by Dowell Oba

On a certain bus ride in a visit to my Alma Mater, I stumbled on an old mate from the wonderful days of creativity in writing. We had a nice chat as regards our future life in poetry, and he brought to my notice the need to release a first volume of poetry to pave the way for more future collections, instead of gathering up lots of poems in jotters and notes scattered everywhere. And having pondered on his words for a while, I deemed it fit to inspire my life as a poet with the eventual publication of my first collection and volume of poetry entitled “Ocean Tide”.

The book kicks off beautifully on a series of poems defining nature, from the introductory poem “Ocean Tide” that particularly comments on the symbolism of ocean waves as they rise and fall, to the changing tides of life where one stanza depicts the good times, and the second stanza depicts the bad times. We are held in further with nature poems expressing the wonder and significance of nature in its clear vibrant images. And within the journey, we stop a little to explore the dynamic nature of seasons in poems like “No Winter in Africa”, and “The Harmattan Breeze”.

The nature category closes slowly on that note but not completely as we go in further into the life category that correspond in itself with nature, because nature symbolises life’s continuity. We analyse from the point of view of the buffalo, used as a point of reference to exemplify the recurrent fight for dominion in our present world, as clearly seen in the preceding poem. And onwards we stop in thorough portrayal to pay kudos to life and express in precise images its challenges we are made to survive as victors that we are, in poems like “A Decade in Two Thousand”, “Thunderous Rumbling”, “On My 20th Birthday”, and “Dream”. We also come to terms with obvious facts in life significant in itself in poems like “First Impression” and “Last Name”. But then we fail not to ignore the lasting bonds in life worth commending, as found in a poem like “Mother and Child”. And concluding this category is a look at the philosophies of life that adds a bit of spice with an additional glimpse to our character traits in poems like “Language”, “Culture”, “Avoidance”, and “The Unseen”.

Then we are ushered in, in grand style into the motivational/inspirational category, with an adequate poem “Twilight”, depicting the preceding picture used as a perfect illustration for the category. We there after pay our respect to inspirational sources, that goes from our love for music, to our inner being; as well as from joy, and inspiration from close folks, as artistically exemplified in poems like “Rock”, “Adrenalin”, “Tears”, and “My Examination Hall”.

But in the midst of it all, we stop to pay kudos to the poet being, who does the special art with words, in poems expressing the unique quality of every poet gotten from a unique inspiration, to poems celebrating the poet’s revolutionary quest to move with words, written with special kudos to the poet’s pen. And more so we look at the wonderful ways we could learn from poets all over the world, in their amazing ways of inspiring and reaching out from their treasure house of sound wisdom.

And immediately the mood changes as we go into another theme worth focusing, and this time on the “political”. Owing to the fact that the political horrors of society need not be handled gently, the poet uses his gift with imagery to paint the pictures clearly for what they truly are, in ways they can be truly felt with the much irony attached to it all, and everything political. Here, there is a map out of poems hitting certain political notions in sincere need of attention, in poems like “Herds of Cattle”, “When a War Loses Purpose”, “Freedom” as well as “Longing for a Superhero”.

Going further into the poetry collection, we enter poems written specifically for Africa and Nigeria. And in these poems, we find images that serve an eye opener in embracing the African race in all her beauty, challenges, as well as ironic difficulty in her relations with the world at large. But worthy of attention is a thorough survey of African literary publications in the three genres of prose, drama, and poetry through the long run of history, in a narrative poem written with African book titles entitled “Ride With History”.

We henceforth come into tranquil sober poems that express in sober tones several subject matters depicting sad and depressing feelings. They are the type of poems that can give a comforting pat to a sober mind, or one plain with none exact feelings. We are brought in further to poems recited for tributes and memorial purposes, to several worthy personalities and bitter occurrences worth pouring out in poetic words. The “Tributes and Memorial” category begins with a celebrating chant to the King of Pop, and another to an African literary and freedom icon in person of Ken Saro-Wiwa. And more essentially are the special tributes artistically written for our creator and maker in Heaven.

We leave this category with a heart heavy with grief and respect, mending it tenderly as we enter the love category and read lines that were constructed specifically for the heart with its love tunes and romantic imagery. We contemplate on these series of romantic rhymes for a while, that chases our sorrows completely away, taking a little pause as we mark the end of this category, heaving a deep sigh of relief as we are ushered onwards into a second universally appealing theme in the concluding category specifically dedicated to “beauty” and every tangible way it can be possibly described in the enticing manner of poetry.

But be not dismayed or confused if you find the book “Ocean Tide by Dowell Oba” in the book shelf of an online or geographically situated beauty store; for what little can I possibly do, but write, and let the world do the reading bid, and preserve my poetic lines in whatever way they find fit, displaying it in several aspects it touches, and covers still.

© Dowell Oba

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15 thoughts on “Book Review: Ocean Tide by Dowell Oba” by Dowell Oba (@dowell)

  1. Interesting. It’s refreshing to read a review on poetry…haven’t read anything on that in a while…

  2. Thanks Kaycee! It was really a pleasure sharing this one. So glad you enjoyed my poetry book review.

  3. (Oops) Thanks Seun! It was really a pleasure sharing this one. So glad you enjoyed my poetry book review.

  4. I am not so comfortable with the idea of U reviewing Ur own work….but good luck.

    1. Would you believe me if I said I did not notice that?!?!

      That’s…that’s CHEATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. I didn’t either.
        Not cool

  5. This is cool,rare to get poetry reviews

  6. This is hardly a review, since the author wrote it.

  7. Doing a “Book Review” of your own work seems…unseemly. Why NaijaStories would allow it is beyond me. It’s like sleeping with your own sister.

  8. Wow, its great. Poeting seems conditional. Well is their choice

  9. People call it cheating but i call it. ‘Hm! Its so bad’

  10. I take this as a sort of advertisement. Now, it’s time to send the work out for REVIEW. But I know you’re a good poet.

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