In this journey of self-love,
I found peace in loving me,
Unconditionally, flaws and all,
You should too.
-Once Upon A Virus
The year 2020 came with a whirlwind of complex emotions that made us all question the very foundations upon which our lives were built. A year that started happily and promised the dawn of beautiful things turned into a horror movie in the blink of an eye, leaving only uncertainty. Those emotions that we felt during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond (perhaps even before), gave rise to this anthology that serves as both a memorial and a badge of honor.
Written by JB Favour, and published in December 2021 by Ifeadigo Publishing Limited, Once Upon A Virus is an anthology of poems that is inspired by the author’s personal experiences and stories of other people from different corners of the world.
ONCE UPON A VIRUS EVALUATION
Reading an anthology of poems for the first time, I had no expectations except for the burning hope that it would be a good read. A few pages in and I was hooked to the beautiful words and seamless writing. However, it was not just the words that got me. It was how I could relate to every single poem so deeply like I was looking at a mirror of my life.
The poems all had distinct words, designed to evoke different emotions from happiness to sadness, fear, anxiety, and so on. Picture being in a river flowing both turbulently and peacefully, then finally making it to the river bank safe and sound.
One unique thing about Once Upon A Virus is the description of emotions before each set of poems, making it easier for the reader to have an idea of what comes next without knowing exactly what to find when they turn the page. Another unique factor was the illustration. The pictures accompanying each poem were simply drawn but designed to pique curiosity and interest. These illustrations made the book even more relatable, and exciting.
Each poem had beautifully written words with bare emotions clearly displayed for the world to see. The author held nothing back and made the bold move to share a piece of her soul and all its emotions with us. I smiled and then cried because each poem hit a different chord in the worn but warm guitar that is my heart. It seemed like someone was standing in front of me with a mirror that could see through my insides, leaving no stone unturned until all my emotions were out in the open.
The poems “Dear Mirror”, “Where Does Sadness Come From”, “Some Days” and “I’m Fine” were my absolute favorites (P.S: It was really difficult to choose).
The third stanza of “Where Does Sadness Come From” reads:
The sky is darkest before your dawn, they say.
But who knows for sure if I’ll see the dawn?
What if this darkness is all my today?
And I’m nothing but the Universe’s pawn?
These words hit home because I ask myself these questions almost every day. Although people seem to hope for a bright future and say that the darkest hour is before dawn, I still wonder if there is truly light at the end of my very dark tunnel.
Even though my emotions were in a frenzy after I was done reading Once Upon A Virus, I still felt some sort of peace knowing someone out there feels exactly the way I feel, and I was also left with a glimmer of hope. Hope that I will survive through it all, that I am a survivor, and that I am both fire and ice.
Once Upon A Virus has made me realize that a book of poems could be so full of meaning and yet, so fun. This deserves nothing less than 5 out of 5 stars, and I will recommend it to everyone who loves good poetry and for people like me who are skeptical about anthologies that contain just poems. I promise, these 30 poems are worth your time and tears.
The author deserves several bottles of wine and champagne because this book is a masterpiece and should be celebrated as often as possible.
WRITTEN BY CASS