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Silence is sometimes not the best answer – A Review of Adeola Juwon Gbalajobi’s Ellipsis

Title: Ellipsis
Author: Adeola Juwon Gbalajobi
Publisher: The Roaring Lion Newcastle
Year of Publication: 2021
Number of Pages: 52
Category: Poetry

Everybody, at some point in their life, has been wounded or thrown a curveball. Whether it is loneliness, unhappiness, pain, or sorrow, we’ve all been there. And sometimes, it’s encouraging to know someone else understands the wounds we hide and feel as well. With Ellipsis, Adeola Juwon Gbalajobi would rather be open about his scars than conceal his true feelings.
Ellipsis is a collection that, even simply from the front cover, you recognize it is a collection of struggles and pain. Dividing the book into three sections, Gbalajobi sprinkles mentions of mental health, heartbreak, love, trauma, and loss throughout the book.

The reflective sentences that form Gbalajobi’s poems give the impression of an author who dares to be open to another human, and he expresses a genuine desire to embrace life.
Sometimes we’re not sure what the poet is feeling. He switches from love to pain, and back and it’s in this confusion that he leaves readers on the edge of their seats, wondering “what’s next?”

Read also: Bring shame into the light – book review

In “Takotsubo”, Gbalajobi mourns the loss of love and writes lines like, I’m not whole for love again. When you left, you took a part of me along, the part meant for love, and now I’m too empty to give love. The author seems to have had his heart broken so many times, but the reader gets the sense that Gbalajobi hasn’t given up on love, and he will try again.

The author does not stay permanently in the realm of love and lust — the collection shifts from a repetition of love poems to spiritual poems and Gbalajobi fills his pages with appreciation, praise, remorse, and ask for help. He is unapologetically in love with his maker and best exemplifies it in this poem, “Songbirds and Flowers”. The poems aren’t for freethinkers, but then again, they will touch the reader’s soul.

In the subsequent section, the author is back to self-doubt, sadness, and horrific times. The readers may wonder whether perhaps the last section will become more positive, but no. The lines of the poem are a harsh reality and as you catch your breath, the author takes the reader on another hard-hitting, personal journey of loss and things that the author has experienced first-hand. Gbalajobi’s simple style provides a sense of relief and this is his magic.
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought, and the thought has found words. (to paraphrase Robert Frost) but then they have to be meaningful, and (some of) the poems in Ellipsis weren’t.

Does your hurt seem huge? Ellipsis offers readers validation in knowing their feelings of guilt, shame, regret, embarrassment or worthlessness is not a unique experience.
Real and touching, both simple and thought-provoking to read, Adeola Juwon Gbalajobi ‘s Ellipsis is a message that will resonate with absolutely everyone who is feeling stuck and lost in their life.

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: titi.oyemade@gmail.com Social: @tiipree

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