The Lament

Selected Poems and Prose

Poetry - General
118 Pages
Reviewed on 10/17/2011
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite

Ercell Hoffman's poetry tells of everyday life, sometimes joyful, sometimes sad, in a way that the reader will appreciate. Many of the poems have the theme of lamenting the loss of someone loved. "Moody" wishes for the comfort that only a loved one's return can bring. "My Child" relates the joy of a child's birth after a lover, the child's father, has gone. "A Dream" tells of finding a love by accident. But not all Ercell Hoffman's poems are laments of a love lost. "A Tribute to Douglas" tells of the strictures of being the "token Black man" on a work force, and "Springtime" just celebrates the arrival of Spring as a season. "Being Black" is a totally brilliant expression of the Black experience. "Being black is always being suspicious if someone's out to hurt you both from within and from without."

This collection of poems, some short, some longer, by an African-American woman who began writing verses for Hallmark cards is deep, often solemn, but very well written. Some of the poems have a definite rhythm but most are written in free verse. The Lament is a poetry book that can be taken up, read in part, and put down again for future gleanings. It will appeal to anyone, no matter their ethnic origins, who has lost a love. It will appeal those who think about their place in life, their human experience, and the place of others in their world.