Author: Olanrewaju Adebanwo
Publisher: Anchor Communications Limited
Reviewer: Benjamin Mordi
Mesmerize (A Poetry), anthology of 30 poems is a product of great thought and creativity. The author, Olanrewaju Adebanwo, presents himself as an Evangelist, a Counselor and a Social Crusader. The first poem, Be Yourself is a candid advice not to copy anyone, but to be original and natural. In Actions have Implications; another poem in the collection, he says that one should be careful of one’s actions because every action has it’s implications. According to him, one should be prepared to take responsibilities for one’s action.
It is said that pride goes before a fall. A respectful man can go places. According to Adebanwo, only respect for God and others can take one to places. “There are powerful and significant seats here, But only respect can take you there,” you can find this in lines three and four of stanza four in “My Theme Song,” one of the poems in the collections (page 6)
In “Sweet To Behold” on page 7, the Poet describes the Bible as glamorous and sweet. According to him, when it is studied and its precept applied, it can take one to places while its impact cam make one glow like angels. When you have the Word, you have all that man needs. “Would You Be Ready?” is a call to be ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ while “Call Me” on page 34 is an expression of strong desire to be called by God. In “He First Loved You,” on page 20, the poet explains that God loves His children regardless of their challenges. He admits that life if full of ups and down, but reminds his audience that God is always there to see them through because He first loved them. Similarly, “Don’t Give Up” on page 42 is a poem where the poet wants his audience not to give up on God, but to put on the whole armour of God and trust Him. Hear his advice:
God is here
You have no need to fear
He has come to tear
All the problems of the year, this, you can find in stanza four of the poem.
To have a good relationship, according to Adebanwo, in “A Good Relationship,” the parties in the relationship must have and manifest the fruit of the Spirit so as to forestall disappointment and unnecessary heartbreak. He reminds his audience that evil that men do live after them and warns Christians to resist the devil because he is evil.
The longest poem in the collection which is an elegy is titled: “He’s Asleep” It is a tribute to Reverend Adegoke Adeleke, a former lecturer of the Poet while in Bowen University. The poem has six stanzas and 41 lines while the shortest poem is “Fealty”. It is a one-stanza poem with six lines. Eight other ones also have one stanza each. They are: Actions Have Implications, Sweet To Behold, The Outstanding Full Moon and Devil is evil. Others are: Bling-Bling, The greatest privilege, Who is a strong man? and The words of a broken heart.
With Mesmerize, the Poet has demystified poem by making the language so simple that even elementary school students can easily understand and appreciate the work. The beauty of any poem comes partly from the creative use of language. This, Olanrewaju Adebanwo, achieved in Mesmerize. The good use of some literary devices such as rhyme, alliterations, repetition, among others gives most of the poems musical effects as they are sweet to listen to. For example:
I took my time to knot my tie
Out for a walk but not to die
I’m like a child
So tender and mild
I try to campaign
Along with my Champaign
You need to take life’s offering
But not by suffering (pg 10)
The visual presentation of these poems is delightful and a novelty. Each of the 30 poems has an illustration to interpret it for easy understanding. If you are reading the book version of Mesmerize, you will never be bored. The illustration makes the book look like a photo album. With Mesmerize, Adebanwo has broken new ground in Poetry. Apart from the reader-friendly approach and style adopted to make the book version of the Poem interesting, there is also an audio where the poems are recorded in Compact Disc (CD) for your listening pleasure. If you do not want to read it, you can enjoy listening to it.
In the midst of this beautiful and unique work of art, few typographical errors were observed. For example, fruit of the spirit in Galatians chapter 5 verse 22 which the author alluded to on page 12 does not have “s”, while two pages which are supposed to be pages 9 and 10 are not numbered.
The book is recommended to everybody, especially those who appreciate beautiful things. I promise that you will really be mesmerized if you read these poems or listen to audio version of it.