Thursday 29 June 2017

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Review: nejma by Nayyirah Waheed

nejma by Nayyirah Waheednejma by Nayyirah Waheed (Bought) - all
of the
unsleeping. gold sweeping. poems.
i have in my hands.
From Goodreads.

After loving salt., I was eager to read Nayyirah Waheed's second book of poetry, nejma.

Most of the poems in nejma focus on race and people of colour in some way, whether it's racism, coping with the grief of the death of Nelson Mandela, how there are no poets of colour studied at school, only dead white people, or the fetishisation of people of colour.

nejma is dedicated to people of colour, and throughout reading nejma, I had the sense that the book is for people of colour. It's not for me. And it almost feels inappropriate to comment, but also that my thoughts on this book don't matter. The only thoughts and opinions that matter are those of people of colour. And because of this, I don't really feel it's my place to say much. So I will say that I enjoyed it, and now let the poems speak for themselves.
and so. we are here. brown
babies. worshipping. feeding.
the glutton that is white
literature. even after it dies.

- the hot wash

(years later. the conclusion:

shakespeare is relative.

white literature is relative.

that we are force fed the meat of
an animal
that our bodies will not
recognize. as iherent nutrition.
is not relative.
is inert.)
is a word we barely know. but
know we are not.
so then i say this to you.
you. with the low sun face. with
the burning mountain eyes.
you. with the skin is that is
always dusted with stars. you
with the soil in your thigh. arm.
you person of color.
you are precious.
you are precious.
you are precious.
spend time with this.
anti.blackness: black is non.

fetish: black non ness is.
fascination. taboo. obsession.
necessary consumption.

exotic: the act of making black
non ness acceptable. touchable.

anti.blackness: black in non.

- the box circle
melanin is a wisdom that knew.
jate would be the anti light
come to
devour. defile. destroy.
a wisdom that did not flinch.
a wisdom that is not bothered
by such things.
my blackness is your first love.
you are convinced that it is. showing
you what your eyes could
'never' see before. a 'world'
bigger. brighter. dark. dusky
wild. unshamed of itself.
and it's cosmic. your
relationship with your the night
rolls off me into your hands.
you and my blackness are soul
you met so
you could learn. more. expand.
because you always knew you
were not like the others. who
made sure they ate one white
thing every day.
no. you
always. uncomfortbale with
you wear my culture around
you neck. bask in and praise its
jewels. pick it up on days when
you want
put it
when it starts
to stain. (you don't want to be
disrespectful and take more
thank you should. you just want
to be a part of
something so beautiful.)
(55% - 57%)

The Ramadan Readathon

nejma by Nayyirah Waheed has been reviewed as part of the Ramadan Readathon.

Add to Goodreads

Published: 17th June 2014
Publisher: Self-published through Createspace.
Nayyirah Waheed's Website

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