Beyond being an astounding work of art itself, Beyoncé’s new visual album, Lemonade, brought much deserved attention to Somali-British poet, Warsan Shire. So it seems appropriate to feature Shire as part of Muruch’s poetry series this week. As most know by now, Beyoncé read from Shire’s book, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth, in Lemonade. The title poem from the book first appeared in Spook Magazine, a literary journal for which Shire serves as Poetry Editor.
“What We Have” by Warsan Shire
“Our men do not belong to us. Even my own father, left one afternoon, is not mine. My brother is in prison, is not mine. My uncles, they go back home and they are shot in the head, are not mine. My cousins, stabbed in the street for being too—or not—enough, are not mine.
Then the men we try to love, say we carry too much loss, wear too much black, are too heavy to be around, much too sad to love…”
Read the rest of the poem at Poetry International. In addition to her written work, Shire has an album of spoken word poetry, Warsan Versus Melancholy, available on Bandcamp…