The Poems of Robin R. Rabii
by Robin R. Rabii
Review by Barry Boy
The author gave me a copy of The Poems of Robin R. Rabii, and I offered to write an honest review.
The Poems of Robin R. Rabii is a book of poetry prefaced by a long introduction explaining the author’s philosophy and style of writing. Without using the term, Rabii describes his poetic style as free verse, unfettered by the restrictions of conventional grammar and punctuation. This is largely true, but he does not take it to the extremes that some poets do.
There are twenty-five poems of various length and on various topics, although the binding themes are the need for more love, compassion and friendship in the world, and less war, fighting, pollution and intolerance of every kind including sexual, religious and cultural differences.
Empathy for The Poems of Robin R. Rabii
The Poems of Robin R. Rabii is a plea for a better society, not necessarily a return to the Age of the Noble Savage, but there are hints of it.
In The Poems of Robin R. Rabii, Rabii succeeds in crossing the artificial, man-made boundaries of sex, religion, nationality, age and colour and appeals to the whole of humanity to ‘get a grip’.
As a Western male, he made me cry with ‘Superhero’. Although he is black and I am while and we are from completely different parts of the world genetically, socially, geographically and culturally, it was obvious that we felt the same. We had both been brought up to ‘shield our hearts’ and emotions by society.
‘Where My Father Is’ had a similar effect on me and clearly demonstrates the love that exists between millions of couples around the world, indubitably in the vast majority of societies.
I enjoyed The Poems of Robin R. Rabii, and agree with his philosophy. If I have criticism, it is not with the philosophy, but I feel that Rabii explained far too much in the introduction and repeated himself too often. He should have had enough confidence in his work to let it speak for itself, and he should not have apologised for his disregard of or even disrespect for grammar and punctuation, because that makes it sound like he didn’t bother with an editor. In fact, he has a paragraph starting with ‘a parable’, which has to be wrong, as I assume is 12 am being followed by 1 am.
Surely, mistakes like these go beyond poetic license?
However, in my opinion, no matter how much you believe that punctuation and convention do not matter, it does. For, without it, phrases like:
‘mary helped her injured uncle jack off the horse’
can be open to misinterpretation.
Nevertheless, The Poems of Robin R. Rabii is a very enjoyable book of poetry, which has a great philosophy explained in poems, at least most of which will resonate with any nice person.
So, if you would like to know more about The Poems of Robin R. Rabii, please check a bookstore near you.