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Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems (2022)

de Warsan Shire

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1684162,115 (4.3)11
"With her first full-length poetry collection, Warsan Shire introduces us to a young girl, who, in the absence of a nurturing guide, makes her own stumbling way towards womanhood. Drawing from her own life and the lives of loved ones, as well as pop culture and news headlines, Shire finds vivid, unique details in the experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women, and teenage girls. In Shire's hands, lives spring into fullness. This is noisy life: full of music and weeping and surahs and sirens and birds. This is fragrant life: full of blood and perfume and shisha smoke and jasmine and incense. This is polychrome life: full of henna and moonlight and lipstick and turmeric and kohl"--… (mais)
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Exibindo 4 de 4
An interesting writer and collection. I really enjoyed several pieces and will keep reading any further publications. I did prefer (and recommend) the version of Conversations in the chapbook; but that might just be because I connected to it first. ( )
  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
"Mama, I made it/ out of your home/ alive, raised by/ the voices/ in my head."

I was beyond thrilled when I was able to read an advanced e-copy of Shire's new collection (many thanks to netgalley and publishers!) I had very high hopes for this book and while it didn't exactly meet my expectations entirely, I was still blown away by the poems that did draw me in with the wonderful magic of well woven prose, a strong message, and the demand for thoughts and feelings to form, be noticed, and paid attention to. It is not often that an author of any genre can approach such delicate topics in a way that works so splendidly that I easily forgot about the bits I didn't quite connect with, leaving me swooning over this collection as a whole.

Poetry is something we read and write because we are part of the human race, and Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is a wonderful example of the passion the writer infuses into the words, and the passion of the reader as we soak them up and churn them over in our minds.

If you're looking for a beautiful collection with a strong message that will pull at your heart strings and pick at your brain until you lose yourself in thought and weave yourself between the prose this collection is one you're going to want to pick up asap! ( )
  chasingholden | Apr 26, 2022 |
This is a striking, inspirational, difficult collection of poems; while many of them focus on the experience of being an immigrant (and being transplanted across more than one country) many also deal with physical and psychological abuse, both familial and cultural (things like female genital mutilation, for example). Many of the pieces are dense with Somali and Arabic and laced with concepts associated with Islam. There's a helpful glossary at the end of the book but I didn't realize that until I got to the end; in the interim I had just googled all the words I didn't know and I feel a learned quite a bit more than the glossary was able to communicate. After all, if you aren't curious, you probably aren't the audience for poetry in the first place! There are many aspects of these poems that I found insightful but one thing I really appreciated was the way in which the idea of "blessing" runs throughout the book. Many of the poems have "Bless the. . ." as the start of the poem (e.g. "Bless the Bulimic," "Bless the Gun Tossed into the River"), and that phrase crops up a lot in the poem themselves. However the phrase is a lot more complex than is typically the case in Western contexts, where it basically evokes a Facebook version of religion where god is handing out "likes" to things that take its fancy. Instead, bless here means something more akin to "remember" or "meditate upon" or even "try to understand." It isn't the bestowal of grace, it is the starting point for an investigation into the multiplicity of the world. ( )
  BornAnalog | Apr 6, 2022 |
(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley.)

"No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. You only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well. The boy you went to school with, who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory, is holding a gun bigger than his body. You only leave home when home won’t let you stay."

"Mother says there are locked rooms inside all women. Sometimes, the men—they come with keys, and sometimes, the men—they come with hammers."

"At parties I point to my body and say Oh, this old thing? This is where men come to die."

Warsan Shire was born in Nairobi, raised in London, and currently resides in Los Angeles. Likely best known for collaborating with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter on Lemonade, she's also an award-winning poet. With BLESS THE DAUGHTER RAISED BY A VOICE IN HER HEAD - Shire's first full-length book of poetry - it's easy to see why.

The forty-nine poems collected within these pages are simply spectacular: cutting, perceptive, brimming with artistry and elegance. As beautiful as they are painful. Shire tackles a breadth of topics - migration, assimilation, domestic violence, child abuse, misogyny, xenophobia, bulimia, depression, Dawson's Creek, The Babysitter's Club, trichotillomania, Grace Jones, Angela Bassett - demonstrating how the political is always personal. With so many gems, it's hard to choose a favorite, but "Bless This House" is especially thrilling. ( )
  smiteme | Feb 13, 2022 |
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"With her first full-length poetry collection, Warsan Shire introduces us to a young girl, who, in the absence of a nurturing guide, makes her own stumbling way towards womanhood. Drawing from her own life and the lives of loved ones, as well as pop culture and news headlines, Shire finds vivid, unique details in the experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women, and teenage girls. In Shire's hands, lives spring into fullness. This is noisy life: full of music and weeping and surahs and sirens and birds. This is fragrant life: full of blood and perfume and shisha smoke and jasmine and incense. This is polychrome life: full of henna and moonlight and lipstick and turmeric and kohl"--

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821.92Literature English & Old English literatures English poetry 1900- 2000-

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