It’s Time To Wake Up, by Marie Yvette is a collection of “Poems and Messages that inspire the black experience” as the caption says below the title.
Often, we hear of abuse against members of a particular race or religion. Most of us go through life believing we are immune to these evils. How sheltered, cocooned and protected that must feel! I am no stranger to racism myself, being a south Indian who grew up in the north. Frankly, there was no pointed hate at me, or even my family. But that is not to say that it does not exist. A few humiliating remarks are enough to break someone’s spirits.
Can we imagine this hatred on a much wider scale, way more abusive than a few snide comments? To be treated like a criminal just because of your skin color, and your hair, and the way you speak? Constitutionally, people who have the same rights as anyone else from the country they belong to, and yet ostracized by those who feel threatened by their presence. Fear probably is the root cause of racism, and in turn, you spread hate, convince others that members of a certain race aren’t to be trusted.
It’s Time to Wake Up is a short collection; a book of only 22 pages. While reading, I could only imagine the amount of pain and anger the writer must have felt to put all those feelings into words. In some of the poems, she talks about why anyone should feel they are better, if they have lighter skin. In others, she asks members of her own race to embrace who they are – their skin, their hair, their bodies – and not blindly imitate others because that is someone else’s idea of beauty. These poems have been written with a lot of passion, reaching out to a brainwashed group to look beyond the dust in their eyes. Some poems were painful to read (like the one titled Identity), because they talk about the treatment meted out to the writer’s race by others.
The poems are written using simple words and are not littered with heavy metaphor or excessive “floweryness.” The poems are inspirational, angry and sad. However, this is a very short collection and almost all the poems are of a similar kind. I do not mean they all conform to the theme, just that they do not sound very different from each other. As I mentioned, none of these poems are overly complicated in terms of language or in terms of poetic forms, but some of the verse is overly simple, almost non-poetic (A Dream’s Ingredients, for instance). But at the end of the day, poetry is about expressing oneself and this collection does so quite nicely.
Available at: Amazon
Note: I was sent a PDF copy of the book for review. Thank you, Marie.