Emma is a micro-chapbook written by Gabriel Oladipo. The simple style pulled me in and let me think it was going to be a breezy read, but as I got further into the collection I started picking up on these underlying emotions that Oladipo had woven into the poems, making them compelling and powerful.

She’s taking understated moments from life and creating fantastic poems around them, bring a whole new meaning to day-to-day moments. The subtext that is left off the page is what’s expected to support the weight of these stories—and for some reason that I don’t think I could ever pull off, it does. It’s essentially asking if we, as the readers, can infer the true feelings and desires by what’s not on the page? Within the pages of Emma, definitely.

White Lake
Life buried
Like goldfish
In a field
Of ice.
It melts
I’m going
To gather
All that spillage.

Reading Emma evoked a somber feeling because of the static and relative nature of life. When we look at our present moment it’s easy to think that life doesn’t move too fast making everything feels so permanent. But, since most of us have been at this whole life thing for a few years, we know everything is temporary. Oladipo holds both these thoughts simultaneously, and the juxtaposition creates a sanguine melancholy. Mourn for the moment, but be hopeful for what’s around the corner.

Purchase your copy of Emma from Ghost City Press

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