Review of Osahon Ize-Iyamu, “A Voice in Many Different Forms”, in Aidan Doyle, Rachael K. Jones, and E. Catherine Tobler, Sword and Sonnet (Ate Bit Bear, 2018) — 247-261. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)
I often wish that I liked 2nd-person narration more than I do (which is quite little) because too often it gets in the way of my ability to enjoy good stories. I don’t like being told what to do and how to feel, and too often that is how 2nd-person narration comes across to me.
So it was in spite of the narrative choices, rather than because of them, that I got sucked into the rhythm and the feeling and the emotion of Ize-Iyamu’s story. This is the first story in the anthology so far that I would classify as ‘horror’, in so far as classifications and genres matter. There is a darkness underlying Tola, and the different voices he uses when he speaks his poetry. The unnamed addressee of the 2nd-person narration has their own battle cries and battle poems, but they are of no defense against Tola’s darkness.
They are, however, all the offense the poet needs.