Title: Dead Dogs Don’t Bark and they don’t bite
Author: Tolu A. Akinyemi
Publisher: The Roaring Lion Newcastle
Year of Publication: 2021 (Series 2)
Number of Pages: 146
The title may seem obvious—”Dead Dogs Can’t Bark and they don’t Bite”—but you can’t help but wonder what message Tolu A. Akinyemi intends to convey but his fans, however, would immediately recognize this as yet another nugget of poetic insight from the author.
If you are not someone who enjoys poetry, the large number of poems included in the table of contents may try to intimidate you. You will, however, be pleased that you continued on past the table of contents if you make the decision to do so.
As with his past works, Akinyemi immediately begins to motivate you in the book’s introduction and encourages the reader throughout. The introduction alone will serve as sufficient inspiration.
In this book, he talks about a wide range of problems that plague humanity. As you read the book, you’ll realize that the author, like you, has to deal with real-world challenges. That’s the two of you plus a million other people.
You find peace in the realization that you are not alone in having bad feelings, putting things off, etc. Differing from how you felt before reading “The Voice in my Head”: I look into the mirror- all I see is a shadow of myself, / the creation of voices that tell me that I am not good enough.
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Even though he has been away from Nigeria for quite some time, the author has never forgotten his roots. His patriotic spirit is clearly on full display.
As a true Nigerian, the author never hesitates to include Nigerian slang in his collection.
Instead of making the reader who doesn’t grasp the term resort to Google, he has the good grace to provide a definition at the book’s end.
His collection includes references to a number of cities and towns, including Newcastle, Ekiti, and Surulere. It should come as no surprise that the author has a soft spot for these locations.
The poem “Age” is terrifying in its honesty: I remember with fond memories my childhood, / the metamorphosis, / and all I see is that I am one step closer to the grave. You are however left wondering where the author got the inspiration for the poetry ‘Sixty’ and ‘Fifty’ as he does not appear to be any of the ages based on his profile picture that is included in the book.
Listen, son-/ Hear me out, young lady-/ You are a star/ that no one can mar. / You are unique, / distinct,/ outstanding./ an embodiment of all brilliance. ‘Yes, You Can’ isn’t the only poem where he grabs the reader by the ears and reminds them of their awesomeness; there are more.
The poems in which he addresses women as “Boss Man” and “You are Beautiful” are required reading for any woman who needs a daily reminder of her superiority. If you’re familiar with any of his past works, you may recognize a few of the poems here.
Even among the heavy topics, you can pick out the humorous lines in some of his poetry. As in the poem “Holiday”.
The second half of the book reads like a biographical account. His personality, background, plans, and preferences are all laid bare for your perusal.
If you have been putting off sorting through your gifts because you are unsure of what you have, this book is for you. Get it, read it, and start developing the wonderful talents you already possess.
About the reviewer
Titilade Oyemade is a business executive in a leading organisation and holds a degree in Russian Language. She’s the convener of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. She spends her weekends attending women conferences, events and book readings. She loves to have fun and to help other women have the same in their lives. Email: email@example.com Social: @tiipreeofficial