This is going to be a very short blog post about something that I have been really enjoying recently, so enjoy.
This is a book of poetry that I recently picked up from Waterstones. This collection of poems has been on my wish list for a long time, but I hadn’t seen it in any book stores. However, in Waterstones I reached for a book in the poetry section with a very thin spine so that the poet or title was not displayed on it, so I pulled it out and by chance it was ‘Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth’, which I had been looking for, for so long, so I bought it straight away.
On a long bus journey home I decided to read it and finished it within half an hour because I was so engrossed by Shire’s writing and imagery. I have been meaning to read more poetry as I really appreciate the art form and I get really emotionally impacted by the poetry that I had read, mainly Sylvia Plath, and Warsan Shire was an excellent modern poet that made me love poetry even more.
Teaching my mother how to give birth is a collection of poetry that is character based and is written from the perspective of a person Shire has created. It follows the deep sensations and emotions within a person who has experienced trauma or suffering. Exploring a variety of cultural traditions, often African, as well as including religious imagery. Her poems are often explicit and shocking to a reader as it does not attempt to hide any of the realities within their traumatic experience. Within this narrative, the relationships between families and friends, males and females is very important in the way the community operates in her character’s life and it effectively illustrates the differences in culture. In my interpretations of her meaning behind her poetry, is to raise awareness and present the difference in cultures of war, poverty or trauma affected areas.
My favourite poems within the collection are ‘The Kitchen’ and ‘Ugly’, because the imagery using nature/landscape and food is so beautiful in illustrating something so tragic.