A Quiet Meditation on love, life and the not-so mundane: Moonflower by Esther Edoho

“Isn’t that how it is with memory? The old still feels good even when it has lost a few details.”

Moonflower is Esther Edoho‘s debut chapbook. The collection contains twenty one poems, written in varying styles from classic stanzas to prose-poetry. The author is a “Nigerian poet whose work explores the beauty of the mundane and the complexities of human relationships”. Moonflower in turns, mourns lost love, welcomes new love and still finds room to live in between. Thus, every page is a fresh surprise.

The poems

Beginning the lineup is “sour”, an almost melancholic contemplation of a love growing cold. It is followed closely by one of my favorites in the collection, “stubborn love” which bemoans love so stubborn, it makes ‘forgetting… feel like burying a living thing’. The backwash of a breakup is very aptly conveyed in “when a love ends”; Edoho writes

“everything is stained with memory and it feels like you are leaving yourself behind”.

“New languages” is the only pre-release from the chapbook which you can currently read on @moonflowerbook’s Instagram. It is the welcoming of new love and all the ways we make room for it within us. “New languages”, to me, continues, in “Layers”, a poem about the shedding we often need to do to accept new love. And, how we pick up and put on these layers after the love ends, only to repeat the cycle again.

“Love is Holding” is the shortest and yet punch-packing penultimate poem in the list.To love again after a failed romance means one must grapple with doubt and this is what “part time love” carries through. Although reassured, the poet writes:

“you say I do not have to worry

I know I am trying but

I am still afraid”

everything is stained with memory and it feels like you are leaving yourself behind - @missedoho Click To Tweet

While moonflower is a chapbook mostly about love, there are also many shimmering moments in which Edoho appears to simply mull about life, home, colors and seasons. These things although mundane are ever present in the background hum of our lives. We call our parents, as in Edoho’s “eight minutes” and often chat about nothing and everything. We dream about futures, times after we are long gone, as does the writer in “Summer puts a stamp on my heart”. Then there are times, we muse on the could-haves in our love lives as in “we could be lovers”.

What I loved

Moonflower is a breath of fresh air, with writing that is simple, of simple things and yet so poignant. It is a chapbook that anyone would enjoy reading, as there’s something for everyone. The collection reads like carefully curated moments in the author’s life that are deeply personal and so relatable. It is one to cherish and return to every now and again.

Moonflower is a breath of fresh air, with writing that is simple, of simple things and yet so poignant. Click To Tweet

moonflower esther edoho

Esther Edoho’s moonflower is subtle, refreshing and moving. I certainly hope it gets the audience it deserves. If you’ve never read any poetry before, you should read moonflower regardless.

Esther Edoho's moonflower is subtle, refreshing and moving. Click To Tweet


5/5 stars.

Moonflower will be released on the 18th of December on Amazon and Okadabooks. Read Esther Edoho’s Book’d interview here. A brief interview with the author about moonflower will be up on release day, so keep an eye out for that as well! In the meantime, feel free to add moonflower to your “want to read” list on goodreads.