A Poet Craves for a Better Society in “A Constellation of Cravings”


Poets are the conscience of society and they are fond of using their poetic voices to affect society positively. Oluwaseun Alele, the author of “A Constellation of Cravings” makes a case for the importance of poets to make society a better place for us all.

The first poem we will analyse in this review is “My Father is a Gambler” and the opening lines evoke a myriad of emotions:


“Our house had one door, seven sons, and two


Cuss words littered the air;

bastard sons of ten thousand fathers

Reeved in penury, hot-steamed poverty.

Stones for pillows, dust socked our feet.

We were living backwards

From death beds to daily bread.

Every day was a resurrection.


The above stanza paints a vivid picture of a poverty infested home and the way of life which breeds a familiar feeling in many homes. The below lines from the second stanza depict the havoc and after-effects of gambling on many homes.

I buried father’s spoon beside his grave;

Left his smile on the portrait

Mocking, Poking;

Reminiscent of poker.

He was too high to have a Royal Flush.

He flushed his wealth away in that casino.


The imagery in the last stanza evidences depth in the poet’s armoury and his ability to use language to critically make a case for the betterment of society. For those who spend their days and nights in “casinos” flushing their wealth away. It might be time to have a rethink.


Oluwaseun Alele’s collection is both timely and a great conversation starter on current issues and the poem “When the Climate Revolution Starts” bears testament. The persona begins like a man on a mission:


“It will begin with a still voice

Of trees telling lumbermen

Not to harvest them, as

They are not yet in full bloom.”


The opening stanza really touches on one of the perennial damages to the environment where trees are felled without a thought for the environment. The subsequent stanzas enunciate all the man-imposed cruelty on the environment and the last lines below states in plain terms the consequences of the climate revolution.


“You can’t fight Mother Nature

And get away with it.

Me, too.”


The poet’s allusion that we cannot fight mother nature and get away with it needs no embellishment. And by referencing the “Me too” movement, the poet believes that the climate revolution will consume many who have turned a blind eye to the malady that seems to affect the world with world leaders not showing a genuine commitment to solve the climate crises.


The last poem to analyse in this review is “Remaking this Country” and the poet’s approach in this poem leaves the reader dreamy. Dreamy because the method of “remaking this country” proposed by the poet is at best an illusion.

The persona begins in resonant introspect:

They say that if you repeat something often


It could almost become the truth.

So, I say, let us remake this country

With the power of repetition.


Right government

Right government

Right government


Fiscal Freedom

Fiscal Freedom

Fiscal Freedom


Guarded Immigration

Guarded Immigration

Guarded Immigration


The poem ends with the stanza


If you repeat something long enough,

It could almost become the truth.

We can rebuild this nation with the

Power of our confession.


The poet has the best of intentions, but confession alone has built no city since the beginning of time. Aptly put, dreaming alone cannot remake a country or turn it away from the path of perdition.


Oluwaseun Alele’s collection is timely and his voice a much needed one in our present-day society that needs a lot of remaking.


A constellation of Cravings would leave you craving for more at the turn of every page.


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