After meaning to buy Warsan Shire’s poetry collection for close to a year now, I finally bit the bullet earlier this month. (It is National Poetry Month after all.)
And it was an amazing decision.
Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth is a small volume at just thirty-eight pages, but it has been worth every penny so far.
I confess I have not read every poem in the collection yet. It’s the type of book I could read in under an hour; heck, I probably could have read it in 30 minutes flat. but Shire’s poetry is not meant to be gorged on. It should be sipped and savored.
From the first poem/epigram, I was in awe. In just two lines separated by a semi-colon, I fell in love with Shire’s poetry all over again.
The poems are all about family and sexuality and what it means to be a woman. Most of the poems are on the shorter side, ranging from a few lines to a few stanzas to a page or two, which I really enjoy. Sometimes I can get lost in poems that stretch on for pages at a time, but Shire is a careful poet with each word picked carefully and each poem groomed to perfection.
Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth has been on my bedside table for the month and every once and a while I’ll pick it up to read a poem or two. I would say I’m about halfway through and I’m in no rush to finish it.
Shire’s full-length poetry book is a new favorite and a perfection addition to my small(ish), but ever growing collection of poetry books.
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What was the last book you bought? Did you buy any poetry books during National Poetry Month?