Sunday, 6 January 2019

Black Holes by Ochi + #FreeBook

Black Holes by Ochi
Self published on Smashwords in September 2014.

B for my 2019 Alphabet Soup Challenge and featured in WorldReads: Kenya

How I got this book:
Downloaded the ebook from Smashwords

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this riveting and revolutionary anthology of poems , Ochi offers his personal reflections on a wide array of subjects ranging from globalization and self-awareness to the nature of good and evil in modern societies. Through indelible sonnets and proses, the importance of introspection, moral reasoning and of questioning authority and societal norms to enhance personal growth is revealed to the reader. Black Holes, a lyrical journey through emotions experienced in human life, breaks all barriers of individualism to voice the pain of the unfortunate, it also glorifies the beauty of unconditional love; the language simplicity conveys its message to people from all walks of life.

I took advantage of the Smashwords sale between Christmas and New Year to download three books of poetry by WorldReads authors. Over the next few weeks you can expect my reviews of poetry collections from Romania and from the Caribbean, but the first of the trio I read is Black Holes by Kenyan poet, Ochi.

The overriding feeling imparted to me through reading Black Holes was anger. Ochi writes about how historically colonialism destroyed Kenya and how nowadays the same role is effectively played by Western-style capitalism. The early poems here reminded me emotionally of Andy Carrington's work and I think readers who enjoy his poetry will also appreciate Ochi (and vice versa). The poems are frequently rhythmic prose with the first long section including longer works often of a page or more, and a brief section section consisting mostly of very short pieces of roughly haiku length. I was disturbed to read what I believe were two homophobic jibes, however I didn't understand all the slang language used so I could be mistaken on one occurrence. Overall however Black Holes gives a stark and honest insight into Ochi's view of the world from his perspective which is frequently very different from that shown to Western audiences.

Etsy Find!
by Paper Rocket Studio in
North Carolina, USA

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Books by Ochi / Poetry / Books from Kenya


  1. I must admit that I've never been that interested in poetry-maybe it's because we were forced to do it for years at school!

    1. 'He put a bullet through his brain,
      No one spoke of him again.'
      Wilfrid Owen.
      That's all I can remember of school poetry!

  2. Sounds like this could really help bring some understanding to problems and another perspective. That's unfortunate though about the homophobic comment(s).

    1. Yes, I think the homophobia could be as a result of specific religious teaching, but personally I can't accept that as a 'good' reason. A shame as the fire and energy on other subjects is fab

  3. I recently realized I love poetry anthology! The subject matter hear is definitely emotional!

    1. I can be a bit hit and miss with poetry, but far more hits than misses overall :-)

  4. Oh I am so excited to hear about the poetry recommendations! I am always looking forward to finding new poetry collections and I love reading poetry. I am a bit wary of this one if it does have homophobic vibes in at least one poem for sure. I do think anger can be wieled for good here which it sounds like it is being done so here. Can't wait for the other recommendations because maybe there will be something for me in there.

    1. Overall, the energy and ideas here were exciting, but I just couldn't overlook the problematic attitudes