Title: Once Upon a Virus
Author: JB Favour
Publisher: Ife Adigo Publishing
Year of Publication: 2021
Number of Pages: 109
Once Upon a Virus paints a vivid picture of the frightening and disorderly world of the year 2020. JB. Favour’s poetry collection captures the mood of the time and it’s safe to say that many of us can relate to this book’s powerful emotions.
The author kicks off the book with a pretty good prologue that sets the stage for the rest of the work that will follow.
If one were to only read the book’s title, they might get the wrong idea and believe that the pandemic is the primary topic that is discussed in the book.
It was surprising to discover that the majority of the poetry was centered on the ups and downs of human emotion, much like the ups and downs of life.
The author’s writing style is straightforward; she shares from the goodness of her heart while avoiding flowery language.
Her words will entice you to read on, and the illustrations she has included in some of the poems will melt your heart.
“Anxiety is like trying to sail a tempestuous wind / You never know when the sky is going to be clear or if it ever/ will…so you just sail, struggling, hoping somehow you don’t have to jump/ into the sea of ruin,” she writes. After reading some of her poems, you may find yourself thinking, “Oh, I see I’m not alone in this.”
JB. Favour understands the human preoccupation with the fear and dread that terrible things will or will not happen to them. “What if I fall? / What if I fail? / What if I don’t? / Too many what ifs, / My head weighs a ton with worry.” This book has the potential to be a consolation to readers who are going through something comparable to what is described in the ‘What if a storm’ poem.
In addition to the more gloomy topics it covers, the collection also has a few poems that are intended to inspire its readers. Reading “Dear Mirror,” in which the author encourages a fresh, more optimistic outlook, made it impossible not to feel motivated and uplifted.
After relating her life experience, she wraps up each poem with a thought-provoking question, which is one of her talents as a poet.
In “Mama’s Legacy,” the author’s voice is fueled by a quiet rage. The poem not only beautifully scatters this book’s once comfortable, serene atmosphere, but it also leaves an indelible impression on the reader’s mind. “Tis Mama’s legacy and my inescapable fate / Someday Mama shall pass the crown to me and a new cycle shall begin, / shall I end this legacy? Or shall I continue? / Only time will tell, pray thee.” she writes.
Her style is unpretentious while exuding sophistication, and she has an unrivaled ability to portray vulnerability.
In a poem called “PTSD-Surviving Trauma” the author is picking up the pieces of her life after experiencing trauma: “For me / Accepting the scars that grew from whatever traumas I faced was the first step towards healing/ I made peace with knowing that some scars never go away no matter how hard you tried.”
The book has a lot going for it, but one of the best features is that it has a section where you can make notes, scribble down answers to questions asked by the author, and probably write new ideas for dealing with your feelings and leading a happier, more satisfying life.
In the end, you won’t be depressed by this compilation, but rather inspired by it.
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