Hot Best Seller

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

Availability: Ready to download

Poems of migration, womanhood, trauma, and resilience from the celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Black Is King, award-winning Somali British poet Warsan Shire. Mama, I made it out of your home, alive, raised by the voices in my head. With her first full-length poetry collection, Warsan Shire introduces us to a young girl, who, in the absence of a nurturing guid Poems of migration, womanhood, trauma, and resilience from the celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Black Is King, award-winning Somali British poet Warsan Shire. Mama, I made it out of your home, alive, raised by the voices in my head. 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. The long-awaited collection from one of our most exciting contemporary poets, this book is a blessing, an incantatory celebration of resilience and survival. Each reader will come away changed.


Compare

Poems of migration, womanhood, trauma, and resilience from the celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Black Is King, award-winning Somali British poet Warsan Shire. Mama, I made it out of your home, alive, raised by the voices in my head. With her first full-length poetry collection, Warsan Shire introduces us to a young girl, who, in the absence of a nurturing guid Poems of migration, womanhood, trauma, and resilience from the celebrated collaborator on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Black Is King, award-winning Somali British poet Warsan Shire. Mama, I made it out of your home, alive, raised by the voices in my head. 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. The long-awaited collection from one of our most exciting contemporary poets, this book is a blessing, an incantatory celebration of resilience and survival. Each reader will come away changed.

30 review for Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems

  1. 4 out of 5

    Roxane

    With her first full-length, poetry collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice In Her Head, Warsan Shire electrifies. Her poems capture young black womanhood, what it means to search for home in the world, what it means to inhabit a woman’s body, the tensions of reconciling faith and family and everything that threatens the borders of expectation and obligation. The beautifully crafted poems in this collection are fiercely tender gifts.

  2. 4 out of 5

    s.penkevich

    Over the past few years you’ve likely encountered the poem Home by Somali British writer Warsan Shire, a heartbreaking poem about refugees that begins with ‘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 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. But Warsan Shir Over the past few years you’ve likely encountered the poem Home by Somali British writer Warsan Shire, a heartbreaking poem about refugees that begins with ‘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 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. But Warsan Shire is much more than a viral poem, and with Bless the Daughter Raised By a Voice in Her Head, the 33 year old poets first full-length collection, she shows she has a multitude of words that will all make us better for having heard them. With arresting poetic language and visceral imagery, Shire’s long awaited collection will break your heart over and over agains as she addresses themes or migration, womanhood, familial relations fractured across the globe, and while trauma permeates the pages so does hope and the will to survive. Speaking of the poem Home, it reappears in this collection newly revised and with a part 2 accompanying the already harrowing words. 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. ‘Where I came from is disappearing. I am unwelcome. My beauty is not beauty here. My body is burning with the shame of not belonging, my body is longing. I am the sin of memory and the absence of memory…’ So much is contained in this passage and these words resonate throughout the collection, addressing themes of being Othered in a new place while feeling your past disintegrating. ‘I can’t get the refugee out of my body,’ she writes in Assimilation, a poem of either sleepless nights or ‘dreaming in the wrong language.’ Always ready with a well earned stunner of an ending she warns: ‘those unable to grow the extra skin die within the first six months in a host country. At each and every checkpoint the refugee is asked are you human? The refugee is sure it’s still human but worries that overnight, while it slept, there may have been a change in classification.’ Another aspect of the poem Shire has frequently wanted to highlight is that she writes about Black refugees. The poem has been used and gone viral during many refugee situations, and she has said in interviews 'I wrote those words for Black immigrants, and the most I’ve ever seen those words used was when the immigrants and refugees were lighter-skinned with lighter eyes. Obviously, you want your work to be used in any way to raise funds for all suffering people, but I want people to know who I wrote that about.' So, at the wishes of the author, please keep this in mind when reading the poem. Dreaming recurs throughout the collection, such as the conclusion to Saint Hooyo (Hooyoo meaning mother as explained in the glossary of Somali terms at the end of the collection): ‘I don’t recognize my children they speak and dream in the wrong language as much as I understand it may as well be the language of birds’ A moving passage with a dynamic approach to separation and migration with images of birds as well as a barrier even in dreams. I can’t attest to the validity but I’ve heard it said that you should translate into the language in which you dream, and this passage brought me the thought of translating oneself into a new country, as well as a person’s hopes and dreams being reconfigured because of the passage to a new country. 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. Poems of women using pigeon blood on their wedding night to appear ‘chaste’, to ‘protecting body and home / from intruders.’ 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.’ It is a joy to read through these poems and see Shire continue to bless the reader with her words. Musical artist Beyonce had a good eye when she chose Shire to write for her Lemonade documentary and we are all better for having had her brought into the literary world. Bless the Daughter… chronicles life from ‘extreme girlhood’ to coming into womanhood, carrying the history of traumas—both personal and generational—across borders of self, culture and country. These are poems of ‘fragrant life, full of blood and perfume and shisha smoke and jasmine and incense,’ as the poet writes, ‘full of henna and moonlight and lipstick and turmeric and kohl.’ There is trauma present on every page, but through her words of understanding and examination we find that she is able to ‘rewrite this whole life and this time there’ll be so much love, / you won’t be able to see beyond it.’ A must read. 5/5 Midnight in the Foreign Food Aisle Dear Uncle, is everything you love foreign or are you foreign to everything you love? We’re all animals and the body wants what it wants, I know. The blonde said Come in, take off your coat and what do you want to drink? Love is not haram but after years of fucking women who cannot pronounce your name, you find yourself in the foreign food aisle, beside the turmeric and the saffron, pressing your face into the ground, praying in a language you haven’t used in years.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Adina

    Warshan Shire is a young Kenyan-born Somali poet and this book is her 1st full length collection of poems. Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is her 2nd collection that I have read by the author. I was so impressed by the 1st one that I gave it 5* and I do not read a lot of poetry. I liked this one as well but Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth is still my favourite. It was small, raw; it was pulling your heart out while you were marveling at the beauty of the words. Bless the Da Warshan Shire is a young Kenyan-born Somali poet and this book is her 1st full length collection of poems. Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is her 2nd collection that I have read by the author. I was so impressed by the 1st one that I gave it 5* and I do not read a lot of poetry. I liked this one as well but Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth is still my favourite. It was small, raw; it was pulling your heart out while you were marveling at the beauty of the words. 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. I thought that the increase in sophistication of the poems made some of them too cryptic and it took out the impact the 1st collection had on me. I still think it a wonderful and heart-breaking collection of poetry about womanhood, refugee’s life, displacement, identity, war, love and death. Also, I wish I knew there was a glossary at the end of the book. There were many African terms that I did not know and I missed the meaning of some poems because of that.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Lawson

    Painfully beautiful poems of migration, womanhood, trauma and resilience.

  5. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    It feels weird that Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is Warsan Shire's first full-length poetry collection. The Somali British poet is one of the most exciting and well-established voices in poetry today. If you haven't read her debut chapbook Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, you will have heard of her as a collaborator on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Black Is King. Warsan Shire is the moment. At parties I point to my body and say Oh, this old thing? This is where men come to die It feels weird that Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is Warsan Shire's first full-length poetry collection. The Somali British poet is one of the most exciting and well-established voices in poetry today. If you haven't read her debut chapbook Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, you will have heard of her as a collaborator on Beyoncé's Lemonade and Black Is King. Warsan Shire is the moment. At parties I point to my body and say Oh, this old thing? This is where men come to die. When I first read Teaching My Mother... in 2017, I have to admit that I wasn't overly impressed with it. At the time, I hadn't read that much (modern) poetry and felt like a lot of things flew over my head. I reread it in 2021 and fell utterly in love with Shire, her ability to string sentences together, and find the right words and images for hauntingly sorrowful and desperate situations. On this reread, she became one of my favorite modern poets. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that her debut collection was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022. I preordered it months in advance (something I rarely do) and kept staring at the gorgeous cover once that was released. I was beyond excited when I held it in my hands at the beginning of March. Bless the Daughter is published in a gorgeous hardback edition with the most beautiful end papers that I have ever seen – the folks over at Penguin Random House sure know how I love a good bright HOT PINK! Unfortunately, soon after jumping into the collection I'd knew that it wouldn't be nearly as good as its chapbook predecessor, and that it would leave me being utterly disappointed. 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. I'd guess around a third of the poems have been previously (!) published before, either in Teaching My Mother..., Her Blue Body or Lemonade. So, they're not new at all. For a small book like this, which only consists of 66 pages and comes at a price of around 14€, that's a real bummer. Another thing that rubbed me the wrong way is the fact that some of these old poems were altered slightly for this "new" collection – often for the worse. "Conversations about Home at the Deportation Centre" is one of my all-time favorite poems of Shire's and it was totally butchered to an abridged version called "Home" in Bless the Daughter... – I will never understand the artistic choice behind that. It makes no sense to butcher a perfectly fine poem like that. Overall, this new collection felt more like a step back, rather than a step forward. Some of the new poems were interesting but they all seemed like mirrors and weaker versions of Shire's old poetry. This might be because Shire usually writes about the same themes – migration, womanhood, trauma, resilience – but it was disappointing nonetheless. Mama, I made it out of your home alive, raised by the voices in my head. Whereas Shire's older poems are vivid and unique, the newer poems feel more hollow. Albeit her technique seems the same: Shire is still drawing from her own life, as well as pop culture and news headlines. She still writes about the unique experiences of refugees and immigrants, mothers and daughters, Black women and teenage girls. However, this time around, she didn't manage to make them come to life. There is not a single poem in this collection that has become a new favorite. 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. It is full of Arabic words (which are explained in an informative glossary at the end of the collection); it's full of (to-me) foreign music and sounds (of the surahs, the birds, and sirens); it smells of blood, perfume, jasmine and shisha smoke. It is possible to get infatuated with the world that Shire is painting with her word and pictures. She's still a skilled poet. 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. It is the more polished, structurally sound collection. And if you're then craving for more, go into this long-awaited full-length collection with the right expectations: lots of old poems reworked anew (sometimes for better, often for worse) but also some new ones that'll invite into a new world, one that Shire always manages to completely make her own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily B

    I was extremely excited to see this on NetGalley and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a strong collection of emotional, powerful and raw poetry that is a great continuation of her work.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Well, I’m not *not* crying. Warsan Shire is brilliant. A beautiful collection of poems, everyone should read this. While tenderly written, every line is kind of a gut punch that manages to be completely worth it. Immigration, family, womanhood, so many important themes in such a short amount of pages. I wish it was 10 times longer. Bless This House and Backwards hit me the hardest upon first reading, but I thought every piece was strong and I’m sure when I reread and the words have marinated lon Well, I’m not *not* crying. Warsan Shire is brilliant. A beautiful collection of poems, everyone should read this. While tenderly written, every line is kind of a gut punch that manages to be completely worth it. Immigration, family, womanhood, so many important themes in such a short amount of pages. I wish it was 10 times longer. Bless This House and Backwards hit me the hardest upon first reading, but I thought every piece was strong and I’m sure when I reread and the words have marinated longer, another will resonate with me even more. And on a superficial note, can we talk about this gorgeous cover? This is one you could judge accurately, although I try not to do that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    “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 lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and two children. Somalia is recognized for having the longest coastline on the African continent and is populated by over 16 million people. Somalia has been ravaged by Civil War (1991-2006) and the terro “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 lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and two children. Somalia is recognized for having the longest coastline on the African continent and is populated by over 16 million people. Somalia has been ravaged by Civil War (1991-2006) and the terror of lawlessness and violence against the people-- millions have fled due to these conditions combined with widespread government corruption, crime, famine, drought and flash flooding. Shire related the inhumane conditions from her childhood in these searingly profound and unforgettable poems. In the poem, ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ Sire declares: “Mama I made it/out of your home/alive, raised by the voices/in my head.” The scrutinizing process of immigration paperwork and outsider refugee status was certainly preferable to the taunting and heckling of those in her new country or finding a child’s body amongst the rubble from her war-ravaged homeland. Shire introduced readers to her native language (with translations) and to the prayers and customs of her Muslim faith that gave her the strength to endure. Many of Shire’s poems were written in memory of her “Hooyo” (mother) and follow a multitude of blessings and gratitude: Bless The School For Girls – Bless The Real Housewife – Bless Your Ugly Daughter – Bless The Ghost - Bless The Blood – Bless Our CCTV Star - Bless The Sharmuto – Bless The Moon – Bless This House. The Somalia Refugee Crisis has continued for nearly three decades. Shire tells us that “No one puts their children in a boat, unless the water is safer than the land.” While reading this startling collection, there was much to learn and of things taken for granted in civilized society. ** With thanks to Penguin Random House via NetGalley for the DDC for the purpose of review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    li.reading

    RTC TWs: Rape, Death, Violence, FGM, Misogyny, Child Abuse, Child Death, Death, Gun Violence, War, Racism, Torture, Miscarriage, Abandonment, Xenophobia, Suicide, Eating Disorder

  10. 4 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    "Dear Uncle, is everything you love foreign or are you foreign to everything you love?" Some lines in this collection will leave you breathless. WOW "Dear Uncle, is everything you love foreign or are you foreign to everything you love?" Some lines in this collection will leave you breathless. WOW

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Whoops this doesn't come out until March but you will want this poetry collection. You think you don't recognize the poet's name but most of the words in Beyonce's Lemonade were penned by Warsan Shire. Poems in this collection range from the refugee experience to the body to love. She's also well known for the poem "Home," which can be found online and starts with this line: "no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark" Shire is British, born to Somali parents in Kenya, so many of her poe Whoops this doesn't come out until March but you will want this poetry collection. You think you don't recognize the poet's name but most of the words in Beyonce's Lemonade were penned by Warsan Shire. Poems in this collection range from the refugee experience to the body to love. She's also well known for the poem "Home," which can be found online and starts with this line: "no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark" Shire is British, born to Somali parents in Kenya, so many of her poems ponder belonging and place. I will recommend the audio, read by the poet. Thanks to Random House Audio for an early listen through the Volumes app.

  12. 5 out of 5

    chantel nouseforaname

    Emotional! So glad that I was able to borrow this from the Toronto Public Library! My favourites poems include: Midnight in the Foreign Food Aisle, Unbearable Weight of Staying, Bless This House, Earth to Yosra, Bless Grace Jones and the two poems that struck me deeply: Bless Our CCTV Star and Grief Has Its Blue Hands in My Hair Warsan Shire has so much to say about family and lessons learned! She asks so many questions that I ask myself all the time: especially when I think of loved ones lost, c Emotional! So glad that I was able to borrow this from the Toronto Public Library! My favourites poems include: Midnight in the Foreign Food Aisle, Unbearable Weight of Staying, Bless This House, Earth to Yosra, Bless Grace Jones and the two poems that struck me deeply: Bless Our CCTV Star and Grief Has Its Blue Hands in My Hair Warsan Shire has so much to say about family and lessons learned! She asks so many questions that I ask myself all the time: especially when I think of loved ones lost, community members lost, the joys and pain of being a girl, a woman, a girl learning from a woman and then a woman of your own. She also illustrates to me why I love when people bring their dialect, their culture, and their community to the forefront of their work: it goes hard!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    This is an amazing collection, with beautiful imagery of womanhood and what it means to be female. But included are some high voltage descriptions inspired by rape and immigration experience that have the power to remain.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bri

    Accessible and devastating and memorable.

  15. 5 out of 5

    april

    what a coincidence i started reading this on my mother’s bday 🤪🤪🤪 “bless your ugly daughter” best poem ever methinks

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cute.Bunny

    this collection is insanely good i highly recommend ❤️

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    2.5 rounded up Poetry is so subjective, and really hit or miss for me. This to say that I thought some of these poems were striking and memorable (particularly the one on Victoria Climbie), whereas others - whilst including some great imagery and writing - didn't leave much of an impression. I'd suggest reading this one if it sounds interesting or up your street and making up your own mind. Thank you Netgalley and Vintage for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review. 2.5 rounded up Poetry is so subjective, and really hit or miss for me. This to say that I thought some of these poems were striking and memorable (particularly the one on Victoria Climbie), whereas others - whilst including some great imagery and writing - didn't leave much of an impression. I'd suggest reading this one if it sounds interesting or up your street and making up your own mind. Thank you Netgalley and Vintage for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Soula Kosti

    "No one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore. No one would leave home until home is a voice in your ear saying—leave, run, now. I don't know what I've become." 4.5 ✨ Warsan Shire's poetry collection Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head was not easy to read but it should be considered essential reading. The included poems deal with the experiences of refugees and immigrants, especially women, as well as loss, trauma, racism, and xenophobia. My favorite poems were: - Home - "No one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore. No one would leave home until home is a voice in your ear saying—leave, run, now. I don't know what I've become." 4.5 ✨ Warsan Shire's poetry collection Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head was not easy to read but it should be considered essential reading. The included poems deal with the experiences of refugees and immigrants, especially women, as well as loss, trauma, racism, and xenophobia. My favorite poems were: - Home - Bless Your Ugly Daughter - Backwards - Bless This House "Your daughter's face is a small riot, her hands are a civil war, she has a refugee camp tucked behind each ear, her body is a body littered with ugly things but God, doesn't she wear the world well." Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Izzy Scott

    thank you to netgalley for allowing me early access to this ARC in exchange for an honest review!! this was an incredibly powerful collection of poems that beautifully described the experiences of womanhood, refugees & family. the glossary was a great touch and although at times it was hard to read due to the challenging subject matter, Warsan Shire writes with such a graceful touch that makes it feels so easy. this was a great introduction to her work for me and I cannot wait to read more!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    absolutely beautiful. everything Warsan Shire writes is visceral, stunning, and impactful, and i'll forever be in awe of what she creates. while it's important to go into a collection like this with necessary attention to trigger warnings, i think this is an amazing work of poetry that anyone can and should appreciate. thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with an ARC! absolutely beautiful. everything Warsan Shire writes is visceral, stunning, and impactful, and i'll forever be in awe of what she creates. while it's important to go into a collection like this with necessary attention to trigger warnings, i think this is an amazing work of poetry that anyone can and should appreciate. thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with an ARC!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Animée

    Bless Warsan Shire Queen of vivid imagery 👑

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    There are some books of poetry that I and enjoy but do not purchase. But this little compilation on women must be purchased and read many times. I see where many readers find her works repetitive, however I must read everything that I can get my hands on by Warsan Shire.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    My heart hurts.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kailyn

    If you read this, don't be dumb like me, who didn't realize there was a glossary until halfway through. If you read this, don't be dumb like me, who didn't realize there was a glossary until halfway through.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    This debut poetry collection was breathtaking, and I mean that literally. There were so many poems that made me exhale all the breath in my lungs. They were beautiful, thought provoking, heart breaking, and captivating. It has been quite a while since a poetry collection made me feel this way. I had to read through the entire collection twice, and some poems I read through multiple times, because I couldn't get them out of my head. My favourite poems in the collection: - Extreme Girlhood - Home I This debut poetry collection was breathtaking, and I mean that literally. There were so many poems that made me exhale all the breath in my lungs. They were beautiful, thought provoking, heart breaking, and captivating. It has been quite a while since a poetry collection made me feel this way. I had to read through the entire collection twice, and some poems I read through multiple times, because I couldn't get them out of my head. My favourite poems in the collection: - Extreme Girlhood - Home I and II - Drowning in Dawson's Creek - Filial Cannibalism - Midnight in the Foreign Food Aisle - My Father, The Astronaut - Backwards - Bless the Moon - Bless this House - Earth to Yosra - Bless the Gun Tossed into a River *Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kaya

    2 disappointing stars… At some point, I was nodding while reading, like someone who gets it, but the truth is I was confused and trying to convince myself otherwise. 90 pages of word salad littered with terms I did not understand (I didn’t realize there was a glossary until it was too late). I’m bummed I didn’t connect with Warsan Shire’s prose, but to be fair, I haven’t yet found a poetry collection that sings to me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kireja

    Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is both beautiful and poignant. Some of my favourite poems in this collection are "My Loneliness is Killing Me", "Home", "Bless Maymuun's Mind", and "My Father the Astronaut", all of which captures the immigration and refugee experiences of the Somali diaspora. Shire writes eloquently about the uncertainty, alienation and loneliness of life in a new country; about how refugees yearn for a homeland that they can't return to except for in their mind Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is both beautiful and poignant. Some of my favourite poems in this collection are "My Loneliness is Killing Me", "Home", "Bless Maymuun's Mind", and "My Father the Astronaut", all of which captures the immigration and refugee experiences of the Somali diaspora. Shire writes eloquently about the uncertainty, alienation and loneliness of life in a new country; about how refugees yearn for a homeland that they can't return to except for in their minds; about the psychological stress that refugees/immigrants experience in not only having to leave home but of being the person that's carrying the hopes and dreams of those left behind; about the sacrifices made and the trauma experienced on the migration journey, and about how the harsh realities and discrimination that refugees/immigrants face in their host country, however painful it may be, is more bearable than the strife and chaos of the homeland. That being said, my favourite poem is "Barwaaqo" or Utopia, which envisions a history that could've been; one without all the chaos and strife that's forced people to leave their homeland on foot, by boat or by plane. "Barwaaqo" is what refugees/immigrants dream of and so i'd like to end my review with this poem. Barwaaqo Hooyo [mother] is young again breath of sweet guava oud-scented, turmeric glow, soft as ripe mango, reclining on rooftops of silk, desert flowers tucked in her hair, Killer [Ahmed Shariif Killer, late Somali singer] singing softly about love and fate, mist draped over her bare, brown knees, a war-mottled future blown away into space.

  28. 5 out of 5

    corinne

    *4.25 stars* Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, besides having the coolest book title in the history of cool book titles, is a living record of Warsan Shire’s upbringing as a Black woman refugee. Her prose is chillingly intuitive, lining the undercurrent of the refugee experience with brave succintity. Her poems give voice to those in the refugee movement who receive the least media coverage–the voices of women, the voices of children, the voices of Black refugees, and especially t *4.25 stars* Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, besides having the coolest book title in the history of cool book titles, is a living record of Warsan Shire’s upbringing as a Black woman refugee. Her prose is chillingly intuitive, lining the undercurrent of the refugee experience with brave succintity. Her poems give voice to those in the refugee movement who receive the least media coverage–the voices of women, the voices of children, the voices of Black refugees, and especially the voices of those at the intersection of these groups–, giving the audience a glimpse into the desolate and harrowing nature of both Shire and her family members’ upbringing. I wish I was able to listen to this novel on audiobook alongside the text since Warsan Shire is such an amazing narrator. Even while listening to a 40-second clip of her reading the first stanza of “Home” on an NPR Books episode, I felt a cathartic sense of enrapture while she was narrating. Nonetheless, another beautiful feminist poetry collection has been added to my favorites, during National Poetry Month too! I look forward to seeing what Shire publishes next!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Marie

    5 stars Warsan Shire is a wonderful poet. I first came across her writing in college during a poetry class on War & Protest. This collection is a mix of poems on identity, refugees and escaping war, trauma, becoming a woman, and the pain of family getting older. It is a striking collection full of grit and raw honesty. It is fueled by the hunger to be honest about Warsan's experiences and her musings on events of racism, war, and tragedy. One of the best poetry collections I've read recently in t 5 stars Warsan Shire is a wonderful poet. I first came across her writing in college during a poetry class on War & Protest. This collection is a mix of poems on identity, refugees and escaping war, trauma, becoming a woman, and the pain of family getting older. It is a striking collection full of grit and raw honesty. It is fueled by the hunger to be honest about Warsan's experiences and her musings on events of racism, war, and tragedy. One of the best poetry collections I've read recently in terms of the wide variety of intense topics. I rarely read poetry on war anymore, but it seems very fitting considering what is transpiring in Ukraine and other countries who are fleeing from war. I can't recommend this collection enough.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ebony

    Favorites (in order of publication): 1. Extreme girlhood 2. Bless Maymuun’s Mind 3. Filial cannibalism 4. Bless your ugly daughter 5. Midnight in the foreign food aisle 6. Bless the camels 7. My father, the astronaut 8. Backwards 9. Bless the real housewife 10. Bless the moon 11. Trichotillomania 12. Bless this house 13. Angela Bassett burning it all down 14. Bless the blood 15. Buraanbur 16. Her blue body full of light 17. Bless our blue bodies 18. Victoria in Illiyin 19. Grief has its blue hands in my hair 20. Ba Favorites (in order of publication): 1. Extreme girlhood 2. Bless Maymuun’s Mind 3. Filial cannibalism 4. Bless your ugly daughter 5. Midnight in the foreign food aisle 6. Bless the camels 7. My father, the astronaut 8. Backwards 9. Bless the real housewife 10. Bless the moon 11. Trichotillomania 12. Bless this house 13. Angela Bassett burning it all down 14. Bless the blood 15. Buraanbur 16. Her blue body full of light 17. Bless our blue bodies 18. Victoria in Illiyin 19. Grief has its blue hands in my hair 20. Barwaaqo 21. Bless Grace Jones 22. Nail technician as palm reader

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...