Book review: Punctured Silence by Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom

Regular readers of this blog will remember the memorable guest edition featuring the young Nigerian poet Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, who graced these pages with his words and wonderful pictures.

I am thrilled to bring you this review of his latest book of poetry, Punctured Silence.

Punctured Silence is the much-anticipated follow up collection of poetry to his second solo work, The Light Bearer.

A young poet, Freedom’s work has gone from strength to strength in this collection. His compositions have evolved and grown, the structures more sophisticated and the imagery more delicately expressed, such as in the verse ‘I fall no more’. What has not changed is the motive for his writing. What speaks to readers in Freedom’s poetry is the raw emotion he expresses, and the irrepressible hope that shines through each piece.

Readers of Christian poetry will enjoy this collection, but it is by no means exclusive. Freedom’s verses speak on a universal humanitarian level with their constant call for peace and co-existence. He draws on the violence in the world around him, and poems such as ‘It could have been you’ describe the terrible violence inflicted on Africa by groups such as Boko Haram. Through his words, he illustrates the scars have been inflicted upon his country and that will remain for many years to come. And yet, ever the optimist, the author shows his dreams for a better future through poems such as ‘Arise O Africa’.

One of the best aspects of this collection are the snippets of African language and culture that permeate the poetry. In poems such as ‘Healing the world with words’, the reader is treated to short explanations in the footnotes relating to Nigerian flora and fauna, as well as cultural figures and Gods. This really enlivens the work and adds another dimension to the pieces.

Overall, Punctured Silence is a wonderful read and a breath of fresh air.



Book Review: The Big Picture by P. D. Hemsley

The Big Picture by P. D. Hemsley describes itself as ‘an honest examination of God, science and purpose’. Many books also make such bold claims as this. However, The Big Picture takes a unique perspective on the larger questions of our existence, such as God, the universe and everything in it.

The author comes form an engineering background, and it is this that allows him to really take apart theological theory and get to the building blocks of the universe. Whilst the text is not a work of physics or philosophy, it takes a more scientific look at the evidence at hand for those readers who wish to study the origins of our existence from both a scientific and spiritual outlook. The Big Picture looks with both hand in hand, and offers a balanced work that has been meticulously researched and painstakingly put together.

Readers of all faiths will enjoy this, especially if they are searching for alternative theories with sound research underpinning it.