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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
The Struggles and Growth of a Man by Jamell Crouthers is a slim and introspective poetic collection that allows the author to look back at his life, uncovering lessons from hardships, observing the harsh realities of life and capturing, in an evocative style, images of his dysfunctional family. The first poem already offers readers a glimpse of the person’s upbringing, the difficult days of his lonely childhood. He writes: “Television taught me so much because mom wasn’t around.” The reader already understands that childhood was difficult, plus he had to take care of his younger brother. Somewhere else, he states: “I’m a struggling man born in a tough environment...” The reader is introduced to a man of grit, following his journey from childhood through adolescence to manhood.
Jamell Crouthers’ writing is beautiful, rhythmic, and laced with imagery. The tone is mellow, the voice compelling and confident; it is original. Although these poems recount the author’s personal story, they are at the same time a succinct statement on cultural issues, examining the place of technology in human intercourse, looking at role models and the place that struggles have in the economy of human growth. I enjoyed the way the author talks about his childhood: “My childhood is tattooed all over my body, / Ink of where I come from, where I’ve been and what I want to be. / Memories and reminders to break the cycle of pain, / And be the man that I should be in this cold world.” The Struggles and Growth of a Man is an entertaining, poetic narrative that reads like healing therapy. It is motivational and inspiring, the kind of poetry that will make readers look at life and others differently.