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Book Review: The Age Begins by Oneal Walters

The Age Begins
by Oneal Walters
(The Age Begins Books)
4.5 out of 5 Stars

With The Age Begins, Oneal Walters puts his heartbeats on paper. When a writer is a poet, the literature is filled with poetic elements. Oneal Walters is a poet that is a writer. The Age Begins is a poetic assemblage that shows, through verse and concept, the story of a working man who is also a struggling, educated poet. From “Born Again” to “Finding Pleasure” to “A Special Proceeding”, Walters gives the reader a candid peak inside of a poet’s perspective.

This is a poetry book that cannot be judged for simply being a poetry book, nor can it be judged by the illustration on the book’s cover. The cuddling camels and prodigious palace in a vast desert conjure Saharan images complete with flying carpets and magical lamps. Instead, The Age Begins is steeped in the complexity of love, the challenges of finding a fulfilling job and the toils of gaining respect as a writer.

From the poem “Passionate”:

Perhaps when unseeing writers write
Books become loveless.
The best avenue for reviving
Breathless books is to
Breathe in the outward
Cries of the people

The Age Begins reads like the soundtrack of the life of a person seeking truth with his poetry and precision with his heart. Like any true poet, the main character’s passion is for the artistic purity of writing. Walter deftly depicts the rejection by the hands of the gatekeepers of the publishing world. Then there are the people who claim they will help, but never do. There is also the underlying encounter between the main character and a female that brings a heightened level of sexual and intellectual complexity.

The reoccurring bus trips and genuine conversations with the female were especially poignant. The main character shares his innermost secrets, his innermost thoughts. The reader gets an exchange that is transparent and more enriching than the manufactured struggles of a romance novel. Walters manages to give the best definition of the concept of love I have ever come across in “Explain Love”.

From the poem “Strongest Female”:

I’m leaving this bus, one last time,
She’s “the one” I said a few times.
Understanding her makes me happy
Accepting her strengths inspires me.

There is a section of The Age Begins that deals with something that is very close to home for many people: the effects of an economic recession. Walters becomes a journalist in the true sense of the word as he details the ravaging effects that the lack of love and money can have on a marriage. Poems like “BETRAYAL” and “Curse and Be Cursed” tell the story of mental deterioration under the strangle of distress.

From the poem “Cursed and Be Cursed”:

Perry is fired today.
He watches the time
To see if I will be
Fired too.

All in all, The Age Begins is more than slick rhyme schemes that skim over abstract ideas in order to affront cuteness. If you are looking for composition that is more reality that fantasy, this is a collection of life’s poetry: brutally honest and deceptively beautiful.

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