Neal Hall, MD Newly Released Book of Poems: Door Of No Return
“Absolutely amazing! I have read most of Neal Halls works; have had the privilege of commenting and critiquing many pieces as he wrote them. But with ‘Door of No Return’, Doc Man, as I fondly refer to Neal, has exceeded himself! His perception of the human condition, in particular the plight of the white man’s creation, ‘the Nigger’, as described in these poems, is second to none.
I had the privilege of first meeting Neal Hall in Nairobi, Kenya, at the Storymoja Festival in 2013. He read from his book, Nigger For Life, a collection of poems that challenged, in the most explicit and uncompromising of ways all who listened to him to think or re-think their perceptions of race, identity, acceptance and survival. Already there, Neal’s work stood out. Because his poetry does not make you comfortable, does not reinforce the generically ‘acceptable’ and accepted state of affairs. It instead boldly and candidly questions, in the face of Neal’s real life experiences as a black man, the status quo raw and painfully blatant. You are forced to open your mind to the fact, not ‘the possibility’, that what seems to be may not be as it seems.
Blatantly blunt, painfully honest and, as always, breathtakingly unapologetic. Neal Hall’s language is simple but intense, not sparing his readers, not compromising his delivery for the sake of a pretentious feel-good factor. Neal Hall is not on a quest for apologies, empathy, sympathy and least of all, pity. Brutally descriptive, he writes simply to tell it as it is! No holes barred.
‘why is a black man’s greatness greatly measured in how much shit he can peacefully endure, then forgive the white man for it’. NH
To call Neal Hall brave, even courageous, would be to undermine the power of his work. Because he is not out to save, absolve or convert the world. His work simply unashamedly and uncompromisingly calls a spade a spade!
There is nowhere to hide, nowhere to conceal ones guilty adherence to, and acceptance of the status quo of injustices and atrocities committed past and present. There is no pretending that you have no part in it. Because at every twist and turn Neal Hall gets you, exposes you, and confronts you with countless revelations of the ways in which we fan the flame that burns us alive.
There is no respite, no relief in the reading. It is as it is. Up front and in your face, forcing you to reflect and question. So know that you cannot read Neal Hall’s work and not be affected by it. To read Neal Hall is whether you like it or not, to deal with it! And that is how it should be. I feel privileged and am honored to give testimony to the work of the brilliant poet that is Neal Hall. His work is an invaluable contribution to world contemporary poetry. Asante Neal!”
Dr. Auma Obama, Founder, Director Sauti Kuu Foundation, Nairobi Kenya
Copyright © 2018 Neal Hall, All rights reserved.
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Flying Too Close To The Poetic World!
By Janaki Mehta
Today we are going to discuss something about poetrism. Yes, you heard it right. I made atypical word because I wanted the topic to appear different from the usual humdrum of writing verses. A phrase or a poem flames our souls the royals and the regal had exceptional poets in their court that made beautiful lyrics in praise of the kingdom and their rulers. In simple terms, a poem is nothing but a musical expression of unsaid and beautiful. Nowadays it also relates with the harsh and ugly facts of life. However, I am taking you folks to that mystical world where rhythmic words and soulful music built the prophecy of poetries.
When a poet or a lyricist sits to write his/her piece, his prime focus is on the subject that he wants to dwell. The poet cannot have a detour from the basic fact, he has to stick to the unconventional. It can be consensual love, mysticism, divinity, realism, prophecy, ugly hell, or even a striking maiden mistaken for a witch. There are lot many subject, immense ideas and several words that can express your thoughts in a different perspective. This is what poetry is all about. We put the words in such a way that it sounds familiar yet unfamiliar. We can predict the daffodils swaying in the wind. We can see the princess screaming when her precious lock is cut. We can portray the pain and bullishness of the poet when he gives up his powers of writing. All these things are reflected when we imbibe the words in our heart. The centuries have seen the rise and the downfall of poets. Some of them had a painful childhood, dirty background, and some were breathing with a silver spoon. All of them wrote according to the feel that they got by their backdrop. The alluring similes, metaphors paradox, and euphemism added a tinge of excitement in their words. Poetry in general is never a boring subject. It raises the spirit of the dullest person on the earth and can change his destiny. Poems have that immense power to build the ism of positivity in you.
The ancient poetries have evoked the inner imaginations of the world. What normal people could not think of because of boundaries these poets made their dreams come true. Their lines actually built confidence in us and we got up and achieved our goals. A poem does not always lull you in fantasies but it also shows you the raw-realism of life. With a tinge of sarcasm, hopelessness, humor, wrath and hatred (T.S. ELIOT- THE WASTELAND) it brings you downward.
A poetry is something that rail-roads you to the path of beauty and mysticism. You can become anything in life and grab your destination but that beautiful verse residing inside you will never die.