Poetry and prose, the much-maligned form of expression often takes a back seat to formal narrative, and there’s reasons for this. Not everybody has the talent to allow expressionism to be definitive of free thought in verse. Not unless you are a character with a penchant for poignancy with a little sass! I speak of poetess, author, motivational speaker, radio/TV personality Dionne Character with a fresh new book of poetry and short stories that are indeed characteristic of her namesake. The book, WILDFLOWER is a unique interpretation of personal forays in southern cuisine, New Orleans style. The contents are divided in two sections of the book, each with its own flavor and aromas that is an open door to the authors expansive imagery. Many are one-word titles that makes you stop and think twice, but glad that it was given in a way where it made sense. To wit: ‘Green’ -- “when a man loves a woman she becomes safe as a cat with 9 lives”; ‘Emancipation’ -- “The day a black woman can love herself enough to embrace another of her sort, will be a day of deliverance...a discovery unknown to man”; or the classic, ‘Blessings’ -- “He means what he says every time time he tells me he loves me...I can tell by the looseness of his wallet”. The essence of it all is to wallow with the savory aura of knowing that such wildflowers can grow from the much and bloom audaciously in southern dirt.
I’m constantly asked which of the poetic selections are my favorite. And I have no problem telling everyone that no one poem can define superlative verve for me. I’m simply a Dionne Character fan confident that whatever she writes is apropos to my palette. I love the versatility of this book and marvel at how she was able to add references and analogies to the people, places and things that are reverent to us in everyday life-- those things that we tend to take for granted but are given star appeal and with ‘character’. This is a personified interpretive view of the 9th Ward of the Crescent City that would make her forefathers proud. It resonates with various expressions of love found, innate emotions, unwavering honesty and a few good humorous situations. Her poems are all free verse, vary in lengths and contain many of the aforementioned one word titles. Check out the longer ‘He Rocked Her’.
If you’re a poetry lover it wouldn’t be a problem for you to behoove you to sit back and let your mind waft and waver at alternative views for imaginative awakenings to see things from a different persona. On the other hand, those that want something different should read this book with an open mind and be enlightened. In my opinion this is one of the best books of poetry I’ve read this year and recommend it to all reading cultures for a better understanding of what real character is!