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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Warshan Shire is a young Kenyan-born Somali poet and this book is her 1st full length collection of poems. In this second poem, Shire implements spiritual and elegant language which disconnects the poem from the disturbing events actually being described. I'd suggest reading this one if it sounds interesting or up your street and making up your own mind.

While Shire’s presentation of powerful narratives can draw a deep reaction from readers, her straightforward structure and often disconnected tone makes the collection feel incomplete. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. I have collected so many of their lines over the years, and (to borrow an expression from Christina Sharpe) they have collected me too. which weaves together the themes of migration, womanhood, Black identity, and intergenerational collection that Shire is so singularly gifted at exploring. 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.

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head tackles many of the same themes as her previous work, with the same striking verse we’ve come to expect from her. 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. Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head is a blessing, an incantatory celebration of survival, from one of our most exciting contemporary poets.

Whilst not all the poems are equal, the whole collection is absolutely compelling in its fearlessness to explore with evocative, direct language and a striking rhythm, the depth of the extra violence suffered by these women in their bodies and identity. 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.

A sense of strength and resilience takes hold as the mind filters through and we connect; the allegory is instinctual, evoking a feeling of empowerment and emancipation as this concerto of confidence resounds in the ears of all women, irrespective of race, age or displacement. 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 way toward womanhood. 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. With her first full-length, poetry collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice In Her Head, Warsan Shire electrifies.

Drawing from her own life, 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. The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. I also love how some known poems are brought in, but are given a new life and a new meaning in the context of the whole collection, a whole girlhood. There is a deep shared knowing between the speaker and the women in her life that makes possible escape, even if escape is only in the mind, even if escape cannot reprieve the vulnerability of compounded collective traumas.

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. 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. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that her debut collection was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022.

She does so through vignettes of her own family and community members in a way that blurs the boundary between blood relations and a greater cultural history. the boy you went to school with, who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory, is holding a gun bigger than his body.In “Drowning in Dawson’s Creek,” Shire uses the first-person voice of a murdered Somali woman, referring to “my carcass” and “my corpse. 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. 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. While it is by no means her job to make a reader comfortable with her work, she misses an opportunity to more fully portray these devastating events to her reader and, therefore, respect the poems’ contents.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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