Excerpt from For Women Who Are ‘Difficult’ to Love by Warsan Shire

you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name

Somali-British poet Warsan Shire (love her name, by the way!) is apparently the poetic muse behind some spoken word interludes embedded in Beyonce’s much-talked-about new album Lemonade, so everyone is talking about her now too!

If I’m honest, I wasn’t at all bothered by the hype surrounding the album release until now, having just scrolled through some of the poet’s more popular works. I mean, Beyonce is major in her own right – and awesomely provocative lately – I’m just personally more affected by other musicians/genres (that said, I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on what you’ve heard of Lemonade so far/ where we can watch the short film in this region? I am officially now curious about its audiovisual elements).

Back to Shire though, I really identify with being called ‘difficult’ by men (by everyone!) and she really fully coloured that picture for me in the above excerpt from For Women Who Are ‘Difficult’ to Love (does so with the whole poem, really – read it here).

I’d also like to point out her wild and poignant piece Grief Has Its Blue Hands in Her Hair. Is it morbid that I really, really get it, feel it? Oh well…

Learn more about Shire, and her hold on Beyonce, here.

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A Poem by Claudio Bertoni (translated)

I’d like to be a nest if you were a little bird.

I’d like to be a scarf if you were a neck and were cold.

If you were music, I’d be an ear.

If you were water, I’d be a glass.

If you were light, I’d be an eye.

If you were a foot, I’d be a sock.

If you were the sea, I’d be a beach.

And if you were still the sea, I’d be a fish, and I’d swim in you.

And if you were the sea, I’d be salt.

And if I were salt, you’d be lettuce, an avocado or at least a fried egg.

And if you were a fried egg, I’d be a piece of bread.

And if I were a piece of bread, you’d be butter or jam.

If you were jam, I’d be the peach in the jam.

If I were a peach, you’d be a tree.

And if you were a tree, I’d be your sap…

And I’d course through your arms like blood.

And if I were blood, I’d live in your heart.

Starts off a bit cheesily twee, I know, but it touches you more and more with each indentation. Heard this for the first time during a screening of the gorgeous Chilean film ‘Gloria’, thanks to one of my favourite local entities, The Space Abu Dhabi . It was also recently World Poetry Day after all…