The Face of Expression 2

In Your Face

Poetry - General
281 Pages
Reviewed on 05/29/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

The Face of Expression 2: In Your Face by Aaron Woodson is a collection of poetry, ideas, and musings written in a style that is deceptively simple, and in a voice that is masked by naivety, but it is profound and thought-provoking. The reader is immediately pulled in by the childlike voice that addresses a mother, “the Black Queen,” and as they move from page to page, they begin to feel the different emotions of the persona. At times it reads like journal entries, written in a pensive tone. Aaron Woodson’s poetry is divided into four parts: life and military, romance, God and self-improvement, emcee battles, and the author explores his roots, his relationships, his love, his connection with himself, and the exuberant joy of just being alive.

It is interesting how the author explores his roots and the strong images he provides of his background. It is both intimate and universal, exploring the hidden joys of a black boy in a racial environment, yet it highlights the beauty of life, the hidden joy of a connection with God, and the enterprise of personal growth. It is exalting and filled with hope: “I got something called Black Boy Joy! I wake up every day feeling blessed. I thank God for giving me another chance to see a new day.” Aaron Woodson’s writing is entertaining but it challenges the reader to shift their perspective on life and to see the gift in each day, each experience, each encounter, and each breath they take. The Face of Expression 2: In Your Face is a gorgeous compilation that unveils the face of the author and makes for a great read for fans of rap music.

K.C. Finn

The Face of Expression 2: In Your Face is a work of non-fiction which takes the form of a poetry collection, and it was composed and arranged by author Aaron Woodson. With some minimal sexual references and the occasional use of explicit language, this free and expressive volume documents the deepest feelings of its author. From comedy moments and triumphs in love through to deep tragedy, social issues, and explorations of grief and loss, there is truly something for everyone to relate to amongst these pages. The volume also explores in some detail the military career and experiences of the author.

Author Aaron Woodson sets out with a mission to create a universal and unifying message in his poetry that can inspire people from all walks of life, and I believe he has definitely achieved that in this well organized and well-composed collection of verse. The diversity of experience and expression within the different topics ensures that we really get to know Woodson as a human soul, taking parts of him with us and relating them to our own lives. Beyond this, the poetic quality of the writing is very skilled, and Woodson chooses his lexis and imagery well to craft strong expressions and ideas. I was particularly moved by the exploration of self-awareness and improvement in that area, which was indeed eye-opening and made me think about my own thoughts and actions. Overall, The Face of Expression 2: In Your Face is a work that is sure to appeal to poetry fans everywhere who are seeking enlightenment and inspiration.

Tammy Ruggles

The Face of Expression 2: In Your Face by Aaron Woodson is a book of intelligent, poetic writing sure to lift your spirits. Part poetry, part essay, part memoir, the writer tells of his struggles in clearly defined "chapters" of poetic passages, from birth to family bonds, military service, and life-changing events that I won't spoil here. Each free-verse poem can be taken as a cathartic release for the author, but it goes beyond this. It can also inspire and be a cathartic release for you as well. The language is honest and endearing, defining, and explains one man's black experience in striving to be proud, accomplished and determined in life's walk and challenges. But more than this, the book as a whole is a journey of faith and relationship to Jesus Christ.

Especially touching are phrases like those found in "88 Keys" (Tribute to Granny aka Mrs. Fannie Wallace): "You deserve flowers and so much more. I really hope you can smell them now. Your life was a sweet fragrance to the world". The poem goes on to say that whenever he sees a piano, he thinks of this dear woman that made such an impression on his life and walk in faith. "You were eighty- eight years old. The piano has eighty-eight keys." There are touches of poignancy in Woodson's lines that will stay with you, and this is what good writing does. If poetry hasn't moved you in a while, give The Face of Expression 2: In Your Face by Aaron Woodson a chance, and it could very well be the most moving collection you've read in years.