I greatly enjoyed this collection. Ounces of Oneness is a set of expressive philosophical poems, and I savored the quiet potency of the collection overall. Nejoud Al-Yagout is a true poet, skillful at often dizzying and creative word usage that teases the mind into contemplating the daily in unusual ways. Stand-out poems include: Upping the Ante, Universality, Another Hypothesis, Dune, Ode to a Terrorist, Big-Banging, The Dance, and 99%. In these and the other pieces in Ounces of Oneness, Al-Yagout intellectually explores science, emotions, and politics. Some of his most striking poems show concern about terrorism and hatred in our world today, bringing a sharp relevance to a genre often concerned with personal expression rather than social commentary.
Ounces of Oneness is a top-notch modern poetry collection. Ambient, evocative, and subtle, Nejoud Al-Yagout dances on a variety of lines between surreal, sad, amusing, almost nonsensical, and very direct. His range extends from complex symbolism and fragmented visions to simple, clear-cut odes and conversational pieces. Not bound to the world of literature and literary efforts, strong interest in science is a staple throughout the collection. The use of scientific concepts such as the Big Bang, evolution, photosynthesis, and astronomy as substitutes for traditional mythological references and nature symbolism was especially strong within a number of the poems and lent a realistic factuality that helped to clarify the other, more personal or bizarre poems. If you love to read poetry—or if you’re curious to try some—this book should be on your list.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.