ForeWord Reviews

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Some Moments in My Life

Clarion Review (5 Stars)

An immigrant driven to succeed, Amisial remains humble, grateful, and spiritually connected, expressing these qualities earnestly in his poetry.

Academically accomplished new poet Wilfrid Amisial has created a collection of inspirational thoughts in verse which both capture his own life experiences and encourage others to savor their own. Amisial is a Haitian who has lived most of his life in the United States. His poetry amplifies his experiences of personal aspirations and family togetherness, the necessary ingredients to achieving his dreams.

The poems in Some Moments in My Life read as signposts from Amisial’s life journey. He celebrates attainment: “Enjoy every moment / Welcome this aggrandizement / Applaud your accomplishment / Every breath is an achievement.” Compassionate in tone, he both commiserates with and berates the downhearted: “Can you learn to play the fife? / You are so strange you can’t be consoled / Can you use a butcher knife? / You can’t even move when you hear rock n’ roll.” Amisial exhorts his readers to seize the day and maximize the gifts and opportunities afforded to everyone by the happenstance of merely being alive.

Poems dealing with his native Haiti (“Haiti, America hasn’t forgotten your plights”), his love of soccer (“what a joy for our immigrants”), the birth of his children (“Please remember, my son, the path we laid for you”)—and even a whimsical paean to dogs (“they have their relaxation techniques / Care for dogs for they can be your best friends”)—serve to paint a picture of a man who has seen and done more than most could ever dream. He succeeds in remaining humble, grateful, and spiritually connected, as displayed in the last poem of part one, “A Prayer”: “Oh God of our Galaxy, help us to realize that those who prosper show compassion for their fellow human beings.”

While sincere, earnest, and stirring in content, the collection could use some technical improvements to reach a greater audience. The fonts are inelegant, the text spacing crowded, and the cover art generic, offering no real insight into what awaits. Strained word usage at times hinders comprehension, as in “it is with courage that babies are born and conceive.” This confusion often distracts and makes elusive the peacefulness and contemplativeness that the poetry aims to engender.

As an immigrant to the United States from Haiti, Amisial maximized his opportunities and potential to the fullest, earning a degree from MIT and becoming the first president of the Engineering Student Council at Howard University. Some Moments in My Life is an attempt by a motivated, accomplished, and learned man to produce artistic advice and generate encouragement for family and friends, as well as any others who may need it. While it may be too narrowly crafted to achieve the latter, the former has been duly accomplished.

Barbara Bamberger Scott