From a tender age, the idea of a dream is planted into a child. “What do you want to become when you grow up? Over the years, the child grows up being shaped or guided into realising the dream. Some live to achieve the dream while others don’t. Unfortunately, there are some without even one.
But what really happens when dreams die? In the first place, nothing dies unless it first lived. However, some may die before it is realised they ever lived.
Many dreams die their actual death before they are realised and for those that endure to realise their childhood dreams deserve to be celebrated. It is no mean feat.
In his collection, When Dreams Die, Ronald Ssekajja takes the reader on a journey that seeks clarity about the dream business.
One thing that hits home when you turn the first pages of the book is the author’s acceptance that dreams can be out of reach at times. The picture of a dream looks complete until you hit the road to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together. He refers to it as ghost.
It is easy to dream only that dreams are time bound. Sooner than later they vanish. A moment comes when you have to wake up. The only way to continue with the dream is when you pursue it and there is the truth. You find yourself chasing illusions far from what you were promised.
In this collection, Ssekajja breaks down the poetry into six parts where he addresses particular themes. The parts are corporate illusions, country for sale, saving the world from drowning, poetry from mars, the trauma of loving and the aftermath.
The poetry is laden with a lot of emotion. The poet takes the trouble to address the real life issues— the kind that we may not have the candour to address in public. He slits through the ulcers of unmet and unrealised dreams, the betrayal, the guilt, the depression and the healing.
Forgiveness is not a tidy grave
That we joyfully bury ourselves in
And it takes guts to love
In the age where
Every date is a scary job interview
As you read on, you cannot avoid but appreciate the interconnectedness of the entire collection yet each poem is independent enough to arrest your attention. There is due honesty in addressing the themes chosen. That you cannot miss.
in the night when the earth is quiet
the heart preaches sermons
reminding me that human beings
are meant to dream.
One thing that poetry does that many other literally genres may not be able to achieve is its individual appeal to the reader. Here, the poet weaves together a cross section of both short and long poems structured in imagery that is closer home.
But when dreams die
In the tragedy of life
All must be embraced
All must be kissed
Conversely the author is careful to breathe strength and hope into the reader by redirecting them to the new chapter of life. He is careful not to lose them rather he builds on the hope that life comes after death.
For when dreams die
There is a rebirth of new realities
And new psalms.
This collection is timely for many reasons. Though the collection has nothing to do with the season of life that is the COVID 19 pandemic, it speaks directly to many people who have been victims of the after effects. By writing down his views, by sharing his thoughts in verse, the poet’s dream lives on. Maybe the reader’s too will find reason to carry on and pursue theirs.
I won’t let you give up the dream
That the universe is round
That love can still be true
For you to see it one more time
I will write down.
AUTHOR: Ronald K Ssekajja
TITLE: When Dreams Die
GENRE: Poetry Collection
PUBLISHER: Scribe House
Cover & Design: ArmUP Media