Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Shortlisted for the 2022 Felix Dennis Prize

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Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Shortlisted for the 2022 Felix Dennis Prize

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Shortlisted for the 2022 Felix Dennis Prize

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The assonance of ‘veil’ and ‘il’ (the evil eye in Somali culture) is no coincidence, this is a demonstration of Shire’s technical agility that renders the narrative of this assemblage alive across all four sections. She missed an opportunity to create a diverse and dynamic narrative, her message of resilience within the immigrant experience lost within the monotonous series of poetry.

Bless The Daughter Raised By The Voice In Her Head: Poems” (2022) is written by the multi-award-winning Somali-British author/poet Warsan Shire: who served as the first Young Poet Laurate of London where she was raised after resettlement. Shire addresses the agency over one’s own body in multiple ways throughout the collection, from skin and voice marking one as an Other, to the gaze of men in a patriarchal society.Also, shoutout to the years I spent in Somalia myself; the amount of references and subtleties that wouldn't resonate with me otherwise is finally making me grateful for it. The line breaks mostly removed to read as prose poetry, Shire revists the poem to discuss the trauma that comes after leaving home and finding yourself lost in a new place. She is a great ventriloquist with the tools to conjure those voices: "The poem can start with him walking backwards into a room (.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that her debut collection was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022. In the poems “Drowning in Dawson’s Creek” and “Victoria in Illiyin,” Shire utilizes footnotes to tie the content of the poems to specific and devastating events.When I am cornered this one comes 'An animal standing on hind legs pretending to understand why it must die'. The poems are powerful and I'm always amazed by her capacity to root her poems in the experiences of the body, but I don't know, I expected more exploration. It is absolutely astonishing how much emotion, intelligence, imagination, and truth Warsan Shire can get into one collection. This creates an irreconcilable difference between the language implemented and the content being referred to within the poem.

But let's leave on a more positive note: Shire's debut collection is full of blessings – for home, ugly daughters, camels, the Sharmuto, the moon, for guns tossed into rivers. You think you don't recognize the poet's name but most of the words in Beyonce's Lemonade were penned by Warsan Shire. Shire’s assured voice teems with righteous fury, tempered by rich language to create a memorable and powerful book. In absolute awe of this mastery of language, poetry like this pulls your heart in a very dreamy way.

So, if you wanna give Warsan Shire a shot (which I'd highly recommend), I'd say read Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth first.

Dangers are everywhere, such as in a traffic stop where young people are compared to ‘ an animal standing on hind legs / pretending to understand why it must die. I don't wanna sound like a drama queen but I'd been starving for new exciting poems by Shire – and this collection simply didn't deliver. Some of the best poem for men are here: Glitter On The Mouths Of Boys, Joyride, My Father The Astronaut, Bless The Gun Tossed Into A River. Bless the Daugher is a collection of a more mature author, the poems are connected through themes and characters, the poems seem more thought out.The poem implores empathy and understanding, and the tragedy is how many times the poem has circulated the internet because Shire’s words are the words needed at that moment of the news cycle. If someone from another planet wanted to know what it was like for a woman to survive on earth, they should read this book! Children’ are ‘distant galaxies’ while father ‘hang[s] on the edge of the moon’, as unreachable as innocence lost. It took me eight months to get through this because there were too many lines and entire poems that genuinely made me burst into tears.



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