Book Review: Baring My Soul
Baring My Soul
Book Cover Will be Added Soon
Book Reviewed by Rondall Brasher
I have just finished a collection of poems called Baring My Soul by Stacey
Renee Tolbert aka "The Brown Suga Poet". It was my first introduction to her
work. I was amused that at the bottom of each page she printed the chemical
composition for sugar (C12 H22 O11). Her poetry was even offered in small
packets rather than chapters of verse. These small touches added to the reading
experience but it was discovering her poetic ability the made Baring My Soul
Baring My Soul was an intricate and sometimes sensual journey into Tolbert's life. Her writing is vibrant and lucid manner and the poems tend to flow with rhythms of Bebop jazz. Her word choices reflect someone who is widely read. She intertwines her "worducation" with street savvy vernacular and use of 'word art'. The resulting work is engaging and emotionally challenging.
As a new reader of Tolbert's, I found myself sometimes bewildered by the direction -- or lack of thereof -- in some of her poems. She seemed to lose track of the subject and really seemed to go off on tangents. This did not happen often, and occurred mostly in her longer poems.
Overall her poetry was striking and engaging. Tolbert is able to be sexual without being lewd. She allowed me to taste her sexual nature without bombarding me with overtures. Her balance entices readers rather than hitting them over the head with her orgasmic treks
It is refreshing how Tolbert relishes her womanhood. She touches upon the sensitivity and strength of being a woman. She ties all of this together with her self-evaluation of what it means to be vulnerable as a human being. This vulnerability seemed to leave her open to both the joy and the pain of life. Ms. Tolbert's revelations resulted in poetry that stands strong line by line. Each line is the bar of melodic word play that promises to take you somewhere
One poem that struck as a potential "thrill ride" was "I used to write nice poems".
I used to write nice poems
About hair follicles belikethem "rare mole
-cules mixed and remixed on the dj's one and
twos" the revolution not being televised, and
checking for my lyrical third eye in the skies
write nice poems
This poem reflects how Tolbert's work has changed, along with her sense of
self. This poem, like so many of her others, takes you on a very nice trip.
Like the Bebop jazz Tolbert's poetry is patterned after, we get lost, but we
always come back to the intended destination.
Stacey Renee Tolbert is a bright and enthusiastic artist. As she grows, her work will change. After reading Baring My Soul, I look forward to witnessing her continued evolution because she has a solid start.