Book: Life’s Many Faces – Fun on the Run by Yvonne Sam
Reviewer: Tatiana Coy writes for Dr Glenville Ashby’s Literary Services
The moral of a story is learned at its climax or conclusion. Ultimately, we must determine what
we have learned from the author’s pen.
Yvonne Sam has written a collection of ballads in “Life’s Many Faces,” conveying a message of positivity, strength and tenacity. A brief synopsis of life’s lessons has been truncated into a collection of poems that can be interpreted by a broad spectrum of readers.
Sam has a repetitive but provocative theme. She is for the people – a politically and socially conscious artist, offering counsel to the young, e.g. African Americans. In Black Youth, Sam says, ”tears are useless for memories you must keep. So move on Black youth, let not your mind tire” and “overtaken by the rages and anger on your head Rise up! Rise Up! And play your part.” She acknowledges the emotions of the black youth while her words encourage them to continue to work hard. The poem affirms African Americans place in society.
Throughout, her poems are an edifice, serving as a strong structural platform for the readers who need motivation and reassurance. Imagine is reminiscent of the song written by John Lennon, released in 1971, by the same name. It yearns for the world to be unified. There is that quest for a utopian society where there is no apartheid and a world without war and the poor. It is an ideology pursued for centuries that seems unattainable, as close to it as we have gotten with the inclusion of the 14th amendment to the constitution. We still teeter back and forth per presidential cycles leaving us further away from our goal.
Sam’s work is a source for deep reflection. They confront common issues and allow the reader’s mind to drift where it may.
For a moment, she briefly reinterprets long standing literature, especially the classics, Jack and Jill and Little Tommy Tucker, giving it life and relevance to our time. It is deft and craftily executed. She recreates the rhymes into four stanza poems, questioning “where were their parents, didn’t they care?” and “why did Tommy have to sing for his supper?” Today, many blame parents for their children’s misfortunes and mistakes. This touches on the absence of parents in today’s society where young children are left to fend for themselves. It seems that another impending gloom overshadows our youth. The metaphor of Sam’s nursery rhymes are succinct and once again can be further extended past its four stanzas, into a book of its own.
“Life’s Many Faces” covers the importance of a friendly gesture, a nice word to create an idyllic society. Encouragement follows hard truths. Taboo topics are trailed by light, almost ethereal poems that simply embrace the potential of humanity. Topics such as the role of the step-mother and the burden she carries when dealing with a step child, and how they are perceived by an outsider, are craftily tackled.
In Step Mother—The Evil Other—she intones, ”step mother to the steps have not given birth still do not deserve the constant heaping dirt…to all the parents some advice I must give: do your best as long as the relationship lives on another fact; let me shed some light; be prepared that you may be alone in the fight.” Sam recognizes that this unique relationship can be perilous for reasons she strikingly spells out.
“Life’s Many Faces” is a well defined book that deconstructs social issues, reexamining them through a refreshing and exhortative prism. Speak, Friendliness and Unity for All to See are just a few of the offerings that reflect a poet of imaginative depth.
In the end we learn the purpose of “Life’s Many Faces.” For sure, our ills must be treated with Love, the title of the closing poem. And it is this love, its very essence, that will prove to be the catalyst of our redemption.
Life’s Many Faces Fun on the Run
By Yvonne Merle Sam
Published by XLIBRIS
Available: Amazon and EBay
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