inSightFULL Poetics° || Warsan Shire

[…] i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere. […]

Excerpt: Poet, Warsan Shire | What They Did Yesterday Afternoon


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(…) According to Alexis Okeowo in the New Yorker, Shire’s work “embodies the kind of shape-shifting, culture-juggling spirit lurking in most people who can’t trace their ancestors to their country’s founding fathers, or whose ancestors look nothing like those fathers.

In that limbo, Shire conjures up a new language for belonging and displacement.” Shire’s poems connect gender, war, sex, and cultural assumptions; in her work, poetry is a healing agent for the trauma of exile and suffering.

In an interview, Shire noted, “Character driven poetry is important for me—it’s being able to tell the stories of those people, especially refugees and immigrants, that otherwise wouldn’t be told, or they’ll be told really inaccurately.

And I don’t want to write victims, or martyrs, or vacuous stereotypes … my family are really amazing—they’ll tell me, ‘I have a new story for you,’ and I’ll get my Dictaphone and record it, so I can stay as true as possible to the story before I make it into a poem.” (…)

Source: Poetry Foundation

For more insights about the works of this powerFULL Sistah Poet, Griot, Writer (…)

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