Review of Dearlogue – a Poetic Duet by Abubakar Othman and Habeebatu X!

Dearlogue is a collective effort between a professor of literary psychoanalysis and a medical doctor. It is a captivating collection of poems that take readers on an enchanting journey through the depths of love, exploring its myriad emotions, complexities, and transformative power. It evokes familiar feelings of passion, longing, and affection through the authors’ creative and inventive use of language and vivid imagery.

The authors, Abubakar Othman and Habeebatu X!, structure the collection as a back-and-forth conversation between themselves in which they celebrate the beauty and magic of romance, and offer a symphony of verses that resonate with the reader’s hearts and souls.The poems capture intimate moments, tender gestures, and profound connections between lovers, painting vivid portraits that transport readers into the realm of passion and desire.

The most remarkable aspect of this collection is how it brought together two people (the authors) from different parts of the country, practising in intrinsically different fields, and representing  different generations. While they have the gulf of age, geography, and profession separating them, these do not hinder the birth of such an outstanding collection of poems.

The authors started with a prologue that outshines other prologues: 

We are two scores, the decades between us / Two cities far off, the distance in between us / But this dearlogue, my dear love / Defies time, defies space…

The prologue concluded with the authors proclaiming that this collection of poems, Dearlogue, defies gravity to define the language of love.

The book commences with an exhilarating pronouncement of questioning their love in Habeebatu’s poem, ‘If they ask me…’ to the comforting acceptance depicted in Abubakar’s poem, ‘Tell them.’ These are the first and second poems by the respective authors, with Abubakar concluding the second poem with these lines:

ME and YOU / A conjugal conjugation / ME now WE / Lying legs up / In the poetic ecstasy / Of Platonic love.

Habeebatu describes how his love makes her feel and compares it to insanity in “Your love has made me insane,” The poem, like all the poems in the collection, is well structured and has beautiful imagery, especially when she wrote:

I wish I had trapped the sun within the sky / And made the night last longer than day / I wish I had burned in it and made / My ashes the moon to keep us aglow

Habeebatu used a lot of similes and metaphors to describe their love and what she’d do for their love in this poem. For example, she said:

Like the fish in the river / I would immerse myself / Deeply, dearly. Without reservation / TIll I am you…

The authors traffic in themes of romance and relationship with mind blowing nuance. Asking what purpose poetry served if not to be a furnace of burning passion in “If Not For Us,”  

The pages will leave the reader in utter awe as they flip through them. From poems about physical touch to one about a woman’s fire, the infernal inferno of love, to “There is method in your madness,” where Abubakar talks about the madness of fashion as a dress code for modern celebrities, to “And You Knew It,” where the poet talks about seducing suitors, making promises with hearts of soot. 

The collection really leaves its reader in a state of unintended emotions that make him/her question the essence of living if not to love, and be equally loved.

The collection ends with:

And like a madone scared of light / I bury my face and find salvation / In darkness.

The last poem, “Salvation,” pictures the poet’s willingness to submit herself to her lover and worship his body.

The poems follow an identifiable literary scheme and structure, while incorporating skillful surprises that keep the reader engaged and in the moment of the language of love. Throughout the poems, the authors’ voices are clear and engaging, and the poems are full of vivid imagery.

The two poets play off each other, conversing back and forth as their poems intertwine seamlessly. There is an implicit harmony between them, despite the “decades between” them. Their verses align in purpose – to exalt love’s splendour.

The poems follow a loose narrative, tracing the evolution of a relationship from initial attraction to consummation. The poets muse on love’s madness and meaning as their passion crescendos.

Ultimately, Dearlogue offers an uplifting, exuberant celebration of romantic love. The musicality of the verses, inventive use of imagery, and emotional resonance give the collection widespread appeal. Readers seeking an escape into love’s magical realm will find solace and delight in these pages. For anyone enamoured with love’s mysteries, “Dearlogue” offers insight, solace, and joy between two covers. A flight of fancy through poetry’s soaring potential for beauty and love.

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