2 Parts: Food Art and Literature ISBN: 9781545189016, an e-book by Oladayo A. Sanusi, MD, FACP, FASN.
As explained in a Forward by W. R. Young, this book is a collection of poetry and recitation created by Dr. Sanusi and divided into two parts. “Part 1, Food Art is a series of recitations and poetry combined, all gracefully illustrated by Donna Kirby” while Part 2, Literature, contains many previously published, but rewritten poems. The whole, covers many topics and many points of view ranging from memories of the author’s days as a young man in Africa right up to the year 2016 in America, and he “Bares both heart and soul and all the emotions involved with love, respect and trust, family and friendship, loss and grieving, pain and sorrow, passion and compassion, success and fame.” Many are pure reminiscence, while others will initiate your own recollections, but the total “will most assuredly become one of your prized possessions.” Following this Forward, the author’s Dedication: “To all those who seek the food of knowledge. And to educators, for providing the art of learning”. Next are heartfelt words of gratitude for and to his wife and family and a thoughtful tribute to the artist Donna Kirby. Part 1, Food Art, begins with Family Cooking where “Working with children bring out the best in them and in you. It is a glory and honor that lasts forever” and in a “Happy Kitchen, A family that cooks together stays together. And forever they shall work together.” The selection of poems then are grouped under Breakfast Medley I – XII, Confetti I – IV and on to a final thought for children that begins simply “Yummy is the word when humans are ready to fill their tummy…” Part 2 follows with Notes: “SAILING FROM THE DUNGEONS: Through the Eyes of the Sun of Africa” and is replete with numerous poems covering almost every conceivable emotion.
Discussion: This is a most unique offering by a man who had been a successful Entrepreneur and recognized poet in Africa before deciding to obtain his Medical Degree and immigrate to the United States where he once again embarked upon bringing a degree of cultural fulfilment to an area long hungering for such activity. Much of the book’s unique character lies in the fact that the author has the distinct advantage of spending his early years even into maturity in Nigeria before arriving in the United States. This basic culture has provided him with an awareness of the similarities and differences between the two. It also places him in a better position to equate with children as well as understand the complex human frailties so prevalent in adults. Part 1 reflects much of this understanding. The poetry mostly is a Free-flowing style and offers a good ‘cook book’ with respect to selection/preparation of foods, much of which can be enjoyed by children BUT simultaneously, it alludes to the interpersonal activities necessary to establish/maintain a healthful mental/physical family relationship. For example: “The Old and the New Medley of African and New American Soul, all spirited to blend a soup for the body.” And from The Works I Plenty of Love. Harmony nothing is perfect Make it the way you want it Blend it like life Toe the grey lines with skillful balance Don’t be too athletic about it It’s not the grey line that will fetch the Olympic Medal For Silver I have none Bronze I have none Gold I have none Love I got plenty Straight from the heart of my toaster Carefully served mild, moderate and well done For a well-deserved for my heart is all yours” Part 2 is preceded by two reviews of an earlier compilation of poems by the author and provide the reader with an excellent overview of what can be expected to follow. Briefly, they consist of a compilation of frequently complex thoughts, interpretation of which often is somewhat difficult. This the author freely admits and provides helpful explanatory comments at the end of most and certainly of the more intricate.
Summary: Dr. Sanusi, no doubt with significant aid from his most helpful multicultural background, has provided a most thought-provoking book for individuals to consider and especially if involved, or contemplating involvement in, a family relationship.
5* A most unique presentation of a thoughtful individual’s ruminations.