Ounces of Oneness

Poetry - General
56 Pages
Reviewed on 07/22/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

​Nejoud Al-Yagout is the author of Beyond And Not Quite, And the Raven Recites, Sacred Nothingness, The Waltz Returns, The Waltz of This and That, Ounces of Oneness, Awake in the Game of Pretending, This is an imprint. In June 2016, an essay of hers was published in Poetry as a Spiritual Practice: Illuminating the Awakened Woman, a book consisting of reflective essays and poems from fifty women around the globe. Her articles and poems have been featured in Tikkun, Best Self Magazine, Women's Spiritual Poetry, The Master Shift, Thought Catalog, Arab Times, The Divan, Kuwait Times, Al Rai, Get Out Blog and Global Chatter Magazine, and she is also the author of a Wordpress blog - thisisanimprint. Her website is www.nejoudalyagout.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite

In Ounces of Oneness, a book of poems by the author Nejoud Al-Yagout, each work is an attempt to give permanence to the soul. Sometimes tentative, sometimes effervescent, Al-Yagout manages to invite the reader with her on a journey of self discovery and wonder as she uses an almost romantic lyricism on each page. She ponders the meaning of existence, the essence of love, and all of the things that truly make us human and connect us together. Like all works of poetry, Ounces of Oneness is something that is best read aloud, to fill the space with the author's intent and to truly let the words settle in the ether.

Al-Yagout crafts moving passages while using such a stripped minimalist approach that nonetheless manages to capture the essence of her thoughts and leave the reader with a sense of breathless wonder. In Ounces of Oneness, Nejoud Al-Yagout creates a simple collection that, despite the light and sparse tone, still manages to sit with the reader long after the last page. Ounces of Oneness is a book that can be easily read in a moment, with poems like "Evolution" that is almost meditative in quality, while others like "Dual-duel" seem to encompass the heady chaos and push and pull of a romance. I enjoyed every passage and feel that Ounces of Oneness is a great read for fans of poetry. I expect Nejoud Al-Yagout's name to be one that I see more often in the future.

Romuald Dzemo

Ounces of Oneness by Nejoud Al-Yagout is a fine collection of poems that explore what we all have in common — our humanity — and the things that unite us, like love, powerful emotions that awaken us to the reality of our humanity, and a lot more. The poems are wonderfully crafted and filled with great imagery. For instance, here is how she talks about love: “And love can make it as surreal as a dragonfly chewing / what remains of a butterfly on a sidewalk of dreams.” I love the “sidewalk of dreams.” The poems are spiritually rich, exploring the seasons of the soul in its wake and in its stupor, as it actively navigates the stunning realities of life.

One doesn’t need to love poetry to be able to enjoy the beauty in Nejoud Al-Yagout’s poems, which are well-crafted, with powerful short lines and compelling rhythms. Some of the poems are very short and poignant, while some come alive in their lyricism. In “Awe-Struck,” perhaps the poem from which the author took the title of this fine collection, the reader is captured by the beauty of rhythm and depth of meaning: “Scattered bullets, scraped knees on / side-streets of devotion, a heart /bleeding in overdrive, tears for / an ounce of oneness…” Ounces of Oneness is poetry that is filled with symbolism and the author writes in a way that allows the lines of most of the poems to resonate in the hearts of readers. It explores the imperceptible things that are part of the human pulse and powerful emotions that course through our hearts. It’s beautiful and entertaining.

Benjamin Ookami

We live in a world where "you" and "me" are identifiers of two very different beings. I sit here writing with a mind now wondering if most of the world is wrong. My questions are the result of poetry written by Kuwaiti poet Nejoud Al-Yagout. Her book Ounces of Oneness is a book of exploration: not of the world but of the inner realms of her own being. Here are fifty-one poems in total to read, or ounces as it were. “Unmasked”, the very first poem and structured to reflect the three sections of every human body, asks people to undress one another of labels so that they can realize that love is naked. The point where I sit now, eager to look into myself, began here.

The poems are not all structured the same. I found more short poems than long poems, like “This” and “Ours.” The author doesn’t use a lot of lyricism, but there are small exceptions like “Uno” and “In Love’s Constitution.” I like the format of some poems. The visually appealing poem “The Dance”, for example, looked to me like an actual dance of words. Through reading these poems I had a lot of individual lines to reflect on because in some poems I would come across a single sentence that said so many things. A muse through her writings, Nejoud Al-Yagout writes poems that speaks to the lonely spirit seeking something to connect to. Her spiritual adventure within herself tells us all about love and where to find it.

Sarah Scheele

I greatly enjoyed this collection. Ounces of Oneness is a set of expressive philosophical poems, and I savored the quiet potency of the collection overall. Nejoud Al-Yagout is a true poet, skillful at often dizzying and creative word usage that teases the mind into contemplating the daily in unusual ways. Stand-out poems include: Upping the Ante, Universality, Another Hypothesis, Dune, Ode to a Terrorist, Big-Banging, The Dance, and 99%. In these and the other pieces in Ounces of Oneness, Al-Yagout intellectually explores science, emotions, and violence. Some of the most striking poems show concern about terrorism and hatred in our world today, bringing a sharp relevance to a genre often concerned with personal expression rather than social commentary.

Ounces of Oneness is a top-notch modern poetry collection. Ambient, evocative, and subtle, Nejoud Al-Yagout dances on a variety of lines between surreal, sad, amusing, almost nonsensical, and very direct. The range extends from complex symbolism and fragmented visions to simple, clear-cut odes and conversational pieces. Not bound to the world of literature and literary efforts, strong interest in science is a staple throughout the collection. The use of scientific concepts such as the Big Bang, evolution, photosynthesis, and astronomy as substitutes for traditional mythological references and nature symbolism was especially strong within a number of the poems and lent a realistic factual element that helped to clarify the other more personal or bizarre poems. If you love to read poetry—or if you’re curious to try some—this book should be on your list.

Rosie Malezer

Ounces of Oneness is a poetry-filled book of various themes, written by Nejoud Al-Yagout. The different feelings that each verse stirs within are numerous, whether it be about the human spirit, our fighting nature, the wars at hand and more. Using different aspects of the world in which we live, whether it be human, animal, insect... the reader is not only able to feel the poem from within, but also to visualize it – capturing it in a mental image or film. Poetry is truly a graphic form of writing, with which I am at one, as it takes you on a journey like no other, whether helping you to escape from the harsh realities in life or, even more so, helping you to face those realities in order to cope.

Nejoud Al-Yagout’s heart and soul is bared in Ounces of Oneness, allowing the reader access to what the naked eye cannot see. The thoughts, hopes, feelings, regrets, and all that is held dear – these all are laid out bare for the world to see. As a Deaf woman, I appreciate visually stimulating books – not just those that carry illustrations (such as children's books), but also build the illustrations from within the mind, created from the thoughts and feelings of words. Some of my favorite poems come from titles such as Ever-Awake, giving the meaning of what it is to feel and to truly live, or Semper Fi, which explains that one can truly live forever in the heart of another. A collection written in a way which truly electrifies the soul and embodies the climate in which we live, I very much enjoyed reading Ounces of Oneness and recommend it to true poetry buffs who are not afraid to get in touch with their inner selves.