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The Usefulness of Hippopotamus: A Humorous Chapbook for Trying Times

The Usefulness of Hippopotamus: A Humorous Chapbook for Trying Times

by Vincent J. Tomeo

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The age-old adage about humor being the best medicine for difficult times is wonderfully showcased in this delightful collection of humor-filled poems and poetic stories. Penned during the pandemic, The Usefulness of Hippopotamus by Vincent J. Tomeo is a collection that offers insightful and entertaining observations on some of life’s unexpected moments and absurdities. With these amusing poems, Tomeo shares some of his own life experiences, which include his struggles to publish his poems, making his dog listen to his poetry, using marijuana for pain, seeing the pictures on the wall come alive and dancing to the tune of the poems in his mind, trying to come up with answers to his mother’s neverending questions, cooking a cockroach in the toaster, running naked through the Washington State Park as an NYU student in 1970, and many more.

If you’re a poetry lover looking for a laugh or two, The Usefulness of Hippopotamus will be right up your alley. Vincent J. Tomeo takes readers on a poetic journey unlike any other, but one thing’s for sure. It’s bound to get a few chuckles out of you. This is one of those leisurely reads that brighten your day. Layered with satirical humor and absurdism, Tomeo’s verses paint a colorful and lively portrait of the seemingly mundane events in life. “Charging a Cellphone” is a hilarious poem about a son trying to charge his phone using the plug connected to the life support of his father at the hospital. In “A Poem is a River,” the narrator likens the intricacies of poetry to a river flowing downstream through nooks and crannies. These were two of my favorites. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and highly recommend it.

The Usefulness of Hippopotamus: A Humorous Chapbook for Trying Times