Never Play Games with the Devil by Tolu Akinyemi
Never Play Games with the Devil is a didactic collection of poems on pertinent life issues. These poems draw their appeal from the poet’s ability to sustain a figment of thought through the entire span of each poem.
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Hear the poet in a succinct moment of self-adulation, he writes: “My brain thinks faster than my words can convey. My mind works magic. Can I live this life forever?” Divided into three sections, Never Play Games with the Devil showcases a poet, at the height of his powers, exploring several themes in different voices. In the first section, the poet is the charismatic preacher encouraging people to Hustle, Find their Feet and Grow. He writes about the lot of Broken Men crashing under the weight of expectations; he talks about boys like Eddie and Edmund bullied for the shape of their heads. He humorously addresses the consequence of choices in the title poem, Never Play Games with the Devil. The second section secures him a seat as an activist. We see the poet tackle, in verse, despotic and undemocratic government, marauding killer herdsmen and the pastor who lost his voice. The poet mourns the hapless souls in the crossfire between society’s rot and the State’s insouciance. The final poems explore the basis of human relationships. The poems here deal with love, commitment and trust. Never Play Games with the Devil is a didactic collection of poems on pertinent life issues. These poems draw their appeal from the poet’s ability to sustain a figment of thought through the entire span of each poem.
Tolu' A. Akinyemi
The Roaring Lion Newcastle