Ronald Ssekajja: When Dreams Die

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.


Ronald Ssekajja is a published poet. His work includes Echoes of Tired Men and Dancing on Broken Lines Which have been reviewed here and here respectively.

AUTHOR:       Ronald K Ssekajja

TITLE:             When Dreams Die

GENRE:           Poetry Collection

PUBLISHER:  Scribe House

PAGES:             110

Cover & Design: ArmUP Media

4 thoughts on “Ronald Ssekajja: When Dreams Die

      1. The collection is deep. it only affirms to my old belief; ” Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”
        Thank you esquire!.

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