Poetry - General
70 Pages
Reviewed on 08/12/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

Annular by J. Dwight Donald starts with a poem that gives the collection its title, which I personally perceive as an ode to courage and perseverance. The second poem, Trees Felled, offers a literal depiction of trees being cut down before they can grow tall, beautiful, and strong. On the other hand, it’s metaphorically about the loss of young lives before they could reach their full potential as individuals and find their place in the world. Surnames of Strength (A Tribute to Black History Month) is one of my favorites. The wonderfully written stanzas pay homage to important historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks and many more.

The Strap is a frank and insightful piece from Donald. “It lay on a chair / brown, black and thick / a reminder of days / when we had to take our licks.” The belt becomes the tool and symbol of a father’s authority, “an attitude adjustor”. The lines “held the future, to all others” and “it changed a fool” indicates that through the harsh punishment, a vital, life-changing purpose was achieved. The Bewitching Hour is another forthright perspective, a sentiment towards the political situation in the U.S.

Life, death, tenacity, childhood, seasons, family, spirituality, despair, political, personal dedications-the themes are diverse and touch on many issues and events that have happened and are happening in our society today. Overall, Annular is a solid read, and the poems that are my favorites are absolute gems.