Unparalleled Emotions is a collection of poems by Olivia Nsofor. The collection is divided into seven parts which are:

  1. Issues of the heart
  2. Lonely blues
  3. Death (Reality or subconscious)
  4. Emotions x bad exes
  5. Love’s louvres
  6. God’s recommendations: Messages of suppressed emotions
  7. Quotes

One of the striking elements of Nsofor’s poems is her use of language. Though simple and accessible, her words evoke imagery that easily connect readers to her frame of mind.

Beyond the language and imagery, the poems are very didactic and explore strong themes such as relationship, marriage, love, lust and death. The humanity of man is also one of the core themes in this collection of poems, and we are able to experience the different emotions that are common to humans through the words of the poet in the different sections of the collection. Some of these emotions include; loneliness, heartbreak, love, sadness and infatuation.

In the ‘lonely blues’ section, Nsofor explores the feeling of loneliness; one which every human who has ever been idle or alone is most likely to feel. The depth of the feeling is expressed through the use of imagery and phrases such as “echoing barrel” “a void of emptiness”. An extract of this section of the poem reads:

An emptiness of void

A void of emptiness

An echoing barrel

An acoustic room

Not a pin drop heard

Not a heartbeat felt

A prison of solitude” pg 13

In this section, the poet also describes the feeling of loneliness as “a prison of solitude”. The dislike of this feeling is further emphasized at the end of the poem as the poet describes it as ‘madness’ and ‘insanity’ in the lines below:

 “This loneliness is madness

Madness is insanity

Morphed to become in sanity.” Pg 14

Nsofor also explores the feeling of being overwhelmed. Here, she employs a strong use of exaggeration to describe the extent of her feelings:

”If I voice out from within,

I’ll be louder than a lion’s roar.

If I voice out from the deep blue sea,

the ocean’s wave won’t express like I would.

 If I voice out like the crow of a black bird,

my calls would be unending…” Pg 17

Despite the use of hyperbole in describing the poet’s need for expression, the  poem presents an interesting twist at the end.

“I’m in awe of this complexity,

I’m trapped in this boundless vicinity.

I can’t VOICE OUT.” Pg 17

Surely, a lot of people can connect to this state of being overwhelmed, a state of having a lot of things to say but having no voice to convey them, so you end up like the poet, saying nothing.

In another interesting section of the poem called “love louvers”, the poet explores the theme of love, with special thematic focus on man’s desperate need to love and be loved in return.

The poet writes:

“I want love,

true love,

true chemistry,

true satisfaction,

true pleasure,”… pg 45

The poet not only explores the theme of love but also of death. The poet describes how the death of a loved one can be devastating. Sadly, the poet knows something about this kind of loss as she dedicates this section of the poem to her uncle.

“Death

The tears, the pain, the anguish and sorrow that just one concept brings upon a family is incomparable to anything.”…pg 29

“A tribute to my uncle

R.I.P uncle and the souls of the departed.”…pg 29

Interestingly, the poem ends with a section of quotes, where the writer encourages us to fall in love with a poet; (I sure will *winks*):

“Fall in love with a poet,

Your heart will beat a thousand rhythms.” ….Pg 69

The collection of poems Unparalleled Emotions takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions, but it provides an interesting read for those who love poetry, and even for those who are just beginning to feel the first stirrings of an affinity for good writing.

It certainly is a must read!

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