Book Review: Yaser and Yasmeen: An Epic Poem. Saleh M. Radaideh


The first poem in this collection, Yaser and Yasmeen: An Epic Poem,  is amazing because of the energy and apathy it details of youth and people, perhaps, in their early twenties, who might be lost and are always looking for something. I do think this poem is cultural and, in the way Ginsberg did with Howl, manages to tell about an entire generation.
The poems that follow are of the same, a group of lads joking around:  1 trying to win over the heart of a girl, and all in the pursuit of happiness, while squashing down boredom. But our narrator is also contemplative and questions many of the traditions and ideals that we live with. Chapter 3: UFO’s exist!  brings up some interesting thoughts in the lines ‘some say it’s suicide…’
Ali and Basim are two characters, two of the lads, in the poems and their very differing stories are enlightening. Well told, so we feel their despair and torment at life. The narrative is good and I like that this collection isn’t random, it has a purpose and the ending of the book goes into heaven and hell, which I’m still thinking over. 
Chapter 13: Rise above is probably my favourite poem.
There are a lot of quotable lines in this book. That poem probably has most of them.
The style of these poems are formal and they rhyme too, wasn’t sure about that at first but it won me over.

A copy can be purchased here.


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