Poetry - Inspirational
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/01/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Amy Raines for Readers' Favorite

Shitolian by O Persaud is a collection of poetry that speaks volumes on many subjects; politics, religion, cultural issues and many more of the various problems that plague and separate today’s society. Shitolian is not a volume intended for those who get offended easily by strong emotions and a very few instances of adult language, yet it is a collection that everyone can learn from. The amount of truth and emotion within Persaud’s words lays bare the perspectives that most would deny exist. Yet in Shitolian, Persaud addresses every issue with personal emotions that allow the reader to realize that these social issues are sidestepped way too often.

Shitolian has wowed me beyond my personal expectations of poetry. The raw emotion concerning the social issues written about has made it abundantly clear that the reader does not have to share the writer’s viewpoint to enjoy this poetry. I would never have believed that so many controversial subjects would make for good poetry yet Shitolian is much more than just good: it is at the very least amazing. I love the amount of passion in Shitolian. The few instances of adult language do not detract from the value of the meaning but, actually, add the perfect amount of emotion to keep the reader caught up in the words and wondering what emotional punch the next poem is going to deliver. I recommend Shitolian to anyone who enjoys poetry that sets a new standard and I honestly hope to see more work like this from Persaud. This is a voice that really needs to be heard or, in this case, read.

Charles Remington

Shitolian is a book of hard-hitting, thought-provoking, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes gruesome poetry by O. Persaud. It is divided into four sections with a loose theme running through each, though the tone of the poetry remains relatively constant throughout. The author rails against inequality, the American dream, and consumerism, but alongside displays a beguiling depth of perception when looking at God, war, abuse, and the weather. Persaud pulls no punches - his prose is fresh and honest and in your face. He also has a lyrical side as in the poem The Creator in which he thanks God for giving him the pain he needed to see and in Cold where his words conjure up vividly the bitter, biting wind on a winter’s day. He strays into physics with the poem Speed of Dark, where he examines the relationship of light against the powerful darkness of the universe. The last section carries the title Writer’s Block: A Book of Shitty Poems, a collection of mostly allegorical verse conjugating, stretching and extending the word ‘shit’ and presenting it in a variety of juxtapositions. This section also contains a little gem titled 17 Days.

Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Shitolian. Persaud speaks with a fresh, persuasive voice about the nature and problems of being human, of being different, of being a victim and of being constipated. His verse avoids over-complicated form and obscure imagery so one receives an immediate hit from his articulate prose. It’s a great book of poetry and I recommend it highly with one proviso; don’t read the last section before sitting down to dinner. I’d like to finish by quoting one of Mr Persaud’s poems – which, oddly enough, is entitled One: ‘One - is not the loneliest number it’s the most complete - because if you know yourself then you have everything – zero – literally has nothing and is dependent on nine other motherfuckers in order – to count for SOMETHING.’

Erin Nicole Cochran

Shitolian by O Persaud is a collection of poems with a passionate voice. There are a number of poems that rhyme, while others do not. The book wants you to feel something; it wants you to taste it in your mouth and absorb the message that it’s providing. Time was one of my many favorites, a few of the lines that struck me most from it were: “in its demand/to mark things/as they are finished.” I was able to relate to it a lot as I feel many readers will be able to, especially in the world as it is today.

Shitolian is packed full of raw emotion from beginning to end. The narration of the poems front to middle feels very much the same style and voice; however, the last few poems have a change in tone and quality that feels much younger and there seems to be this “screw it all” or “devil may care” vibe as if to say "to hell with all of this controlled intelligent attitude, I just want to rage and speak frankly," which I do appreciate as a reader and poet myself.

The book unfolds layers of emotion and conveys these piece after piece. You can quite clearly see the unraveling, and although the content of these last poems is less visually pretty in the mind than the majority, it’s interesting to see and bear witness to the frenetic energy that is coming forth. Shitolian is not for the faint of heart - it will wake you if you are not already woken. So be prepared to come alive.

Andrae Douglas

Shitolian is an interesting compilation of poems written by O. Persaud. It is his personal statement to an American society which he considers to be divided. As such, he addresses issues that he believes are directly and indirectly responsible for this division. The author tackles delicate topics such as religion, politics, and racism while sharing his experiences in an attempt to inspire his audience. Shitolian consists of the many harsh realities that plague America and the world at large complemented by Persaud’s adept selection of words. In his own witty manner, the author manages to compress all the 'shit' occurring in the United States of America into one giant cesspool, then labeled it Shitolian.

Whether you’re looking for the good shit or the bad shit, Shitolian’s got it all. Line after line, poem after poem, Persaud impresses with a vast array of literary devices that leaves readers in awe. Like a seasoned boxer, he begins just as boldly as he intends to finish, winning me over with the very first work entitled Black and White Drinking Fountains. Four rounds later, he landed the knockout blow with a well-constructed, expertly delivered, profound piece suitably titled Hide and Seek. Persaud is in no mood to hide though, as throughout the entire book he presents the reader with uninhibited emotions and sheer honesty. I would not be surprised if Shitolian was written in the bathroom, as Persaud addresses the right shit at the right time and ensures that shit gets flushed.

Sarah Stuart

Shitolian: The Apple Orchard Book 3 by O Persaud is one of the most intriguing books of poetry I’ve ever read. Even visually, it captivates with lower case letters in the titles and “I” expressed “i”. Capitals are reserved to draw the reader’s attention to words Persaud does not intend you to miss – the whole point of a poem sometimes, thus, when the observation is made looking in a mirror. Example: "it may seem like a perfect image as i reflect but in reality everything i'm looking at is ass BACKWARDS.” Persaud claims a “meaningless existence”, but he has significant views on what is usually regarded as the American dream. If you sense a racial divide, muddled views on religion, or are disillusioned with the antics of politicians, Shitolian will show you that you are not alone.

Shitolian is written in freestyle, very freestyle, and it suits the poetry perfectly. This is not a book for the easily offended, but I beg you to put aside intolerance and dip your toes in the water. Agree or disagree, but Persaud challenges you to think and defend your preconceptions. Even whilst you are presenting mental arguments, you will find favorites that creep into your heart. Diamonds Aren’t Forever is, unexpectedly, a love poem. The Colony carries the shadows of war. Elephant Apocalypse made me angry and moved me to tears. In Shitolian, O Persaud has given the world a poetry book that has a place on every bookshelf.

Wilma Persaud

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