Hunger for poetry

every poem. here.

is an unwrite.

of all that has been written in me without. permission.

–nayyirah waheed


I recently stumbled upon the poet nayyirah waheed, whose words are so beautiful they make my soul ache.

Around the same time I discovered her work and site, I started to have this hunger for poetry–I’ve been feeling starved for it. All I’ve wanted to do for the past couple of weeks is read poetry collections and write poems, sate myself with poetry. This has never happened to me before.

I’ve never considered myself a poet, even with all of my notebooks filled with page after page of poems I wrote when I was a teenager–I never thought of myself as a poet. And once I went to grad school, that seemed to solidify in my mind that I was a prose writer, albeit with a leaning towards poetics in my prose, but I felt like I just didn’t have what it took to understand the intricacies of poetry.

But with this new desire for all things poetry, I’ve been wanting to learn about punctuation and language in poetry, I want to understand how it works in hopes that maybe I can implement all the subtle tools that poets use to create work.

At the center of this new poetry obsession, though: line breaks. What?! How can a line break, something as simple as hitting [RETURN] communicate so strongly to readers? But they do! And I feel like in my experimentation with poetry right now, I’ve been playing with line breaks–where to place them, why, where is the break, where is the absence, where is the precipice?

So I purchased a couple books of poetry to aid in my poetry education/feast (and I saw these poetry collections on nayyirah waheed’s site): No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay and Anatomy of Being by Shinji Moon. Next up to purchase/obtain: salt. and nejma by nayyirah waheed.


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