Nigerian author Peter Okonkwo describes Fate, in the Dungeon of Doom as “an intuitional interpretation of what a man’s fate exhibits amidst impediments, endurance, abnegation, innocence, and most importantly, doom. It is a fatalistic poetry collection.”
The collection is presented in three sections. The first section, “The Poems of Fate”, is expressed through one suffering man’s thoughts, laments, and questions. His relentless examination of every aspect of life, luck and fate raises thought-provoking questions about what really controls our lives.
Fate is viewed by our suffering narrator in a variety of forms. In the poem, “A Question For Fate”, it takes the form of a fickle lover, leaving our narrator smitten, confused, desperate to change the situation. He pleads for love and attention, and finally wonders if fate can even be understood at all.
“Whose Fault, Fate or Mine?” wavers back and forth in an attempt to place blame, but fails to make it stick. Finally, the narrator realizes something new about fate. “I never knew that fate had a separate plan. / No wonder I cried while I arrived on earth”.
Taken as a whole, this collection gives food for thought to anyone questioning their own fate. It can also be read as an intellectual, thoughtful study of the topic.
Part Two, “The Poems of Kwame; The Fate of a Traumatized Lad”, is the story of a family torn apart, a missing son and a mother’s anguished waiting, as told by the characters within the story. This effort can be thought of as a stage play – it reminded me of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Part Three, “Other Poems” is a collection of poems dealing with a variety of subjects including karma, breathing, curses, actions, dreams, and conscience.
The book left me feeling quietly contemplative, and reminiscent about choices I’ve made and paths I’ve taken throughout my own life. Even if you aren’t one to question your own fate, perhaps this book will help you empathize with friends or family that may be questioning theirs.