Title: Frozen Stare | Author: Oneal Walters
Publisher: The Age Begins
Publication date: 2010
Genre: Poetry – Free Verse
Special features: Photos
Frozen Stare is a contemporary collection of poetry that encompasses the personal childhood of Oneal Walters. This book can be divided into three parts. Out of the 40 poems that make up this book, just about 90% are written by Walters himself while the remaining poems are written by a UK poet named Stephanie Etieno I Inyang. Out of the 90% authored by Walters, I’d say about 23% of those poems focus on the topic of young love.
The first part of his book, the 77% that deals with societal, parental, and educational issues, fits perfectly into today’s time as it focuses on relevant issues children currently face, specifically children in low income areas where parents and children lack access to the proper tools and knowledge that lead to growth and success.
Walter makes his position very clear: children today lack characteristics required to succeed in life. We need to turn our children back into dreamers. We must show them what hope can do. What it can start.
In regards to the poems that focus on his childhood, Walters makes the image of a phoenix rising from the ashes. He did not let his environment manifest into chains that held him back. Through his poetry, Walters describes his inspiring journey of trials and tribulations and his hopes and dreams of becoming something better. We need to see more of this.
This generational curse that we witness today needs to end. In my opinion, too many children grow up without desires and dreams that extend beyond wanting money. In today’s society, children want things quickly. They have no knowledge of seed, time, and harvest; the concept that hard work may require sacrifice but brings in rewarding benefits. People do not understand the necessity of sowing into their own future and society’s future.
As I progressed towards the romance section of Frozen Stare, I feel the poems were written from a very gentle perspective. There are no intense erotic or heavy romance references. The few poems in this section obviously reflect on his young love life but from the way he writes, it seems as if love is a flower that he holds ever so delicately, as if he’s afraid to crush it. Even when someone else crushes that love he makes it very evident but without being mean or spiteful. You can feel the truth and peace in his written work.
Audience & Format of Book:
Frozen Stare is suitable for all ages, though I feel it is more directed at young and general age adults as this age group would benefit from the inspiration and material message that can be derived from this book.
It is also worth noting that Frozen Stare contains a nice collection of photographs which vividly illustrates the point inside Walters’ poems.
In regards to the format of his poetry, Walters employs a unique free verse style of original poetry where he does not make the reader go through leaps and bounds just to get his point across. So you will not find much in the way of heavy metaphors, complex rhyme schemes, or tedious meters but rather, readers will discover that Walters presents a very straight forward (and often blunt) point of view that leaves nothing to the imagination. Though his ‘rip-the-bandage-off’ technique may throw you off at first, you’ll appreciate it later on. Frozen Stare warrants discussion. It sheds a light on the issues that are often ignored. We need to start taking accountability for the state our children are in today rather than spend time pointing the finger.
Note, I intentionally excluded excerpts, teasers, quotes, and the like from this review as I want to encourage readers to pick up the book and read it. Why eat just a slice of cake when you can have the whole thing?
My Final Assessment:
As I reflect on Frozen Stare as a whole, I will say this: this collection of poetry provides readers with a real time look at the life of a boy named Oneal Walters. Walters took us on a journey where we get a glimpse at the childhood and teenage obstacles that are common in today’s society.
With that said, many of you are probably wondering who is Oneal Walters. Why should we read his book? Well, if you are looking to read poetry that entertains you then this book is not it. However, if you are looking for poetry that has moves, poetry that will reach deep into your subconscious to question and inspire, then yes, this book should be on your shelf. This book is for those of you who can take your medicine and handle it. Those of you, who can not, should refrain from opening the first page.