Warsan Shire is one of my favorite poets/writers. When I first stumbled upon her work, I was blown away by how beautifully she expressed her thoughts. Her metaphors are breath taking and she expressed emotions in ways that made me want to reach out and hug her. She seemed to understand how I was thinking and feeling in her poetry, and in that moment I became hooked. Her work is primarily focused on family, love, sadness, and female empowerment. Her poetry is featured in Beyonce's Lemonade as well as in her collection, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth. These are some of my favorite quotes of hers that express how wonderful it is to be yourself:
1. “It’s not my responsibility to be beautiful. I’m not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.”
2. “You want me to be a tragic backdrop so that you can appear to be illuminated, so that people can say, ‘Wow, isn’t he so terribly brave to love a girl who is so obviously sad?’ You think I’ll be the dark sky so you can be the star? I’ll swallow you whole.”
3. You can’t make homes out of human beings, someone should have already told you that. And if he wants to leave then let him leave. You are terrifying and strange and beautiful, something that not everyone knows how to love."'
4. “I cut him out at the root, he was my favorite tree, rotting, threatening the foundations of my home.”
5. “I’m a lover without a lover. I’m lovely and lonely. I belong deeply to myself.”
6. "Essentially, if our secret are secrets because we are told to be ashamed, then we must share them. There i uno shame in being sad or struggling or trying to heal. We are all desperate, depraved, and scared. We are all terrible and brilliant. I can list all the things that can make a girl want to escape her own body (re: patriarchy). But I'd rather list all the things that make me want to stay in my body, and adorn it like a home, rub oils into my skin, tell it how sorry I am for trying to leave, for trying to hurt it into submission."
7. Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself—what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.”
8. “I let you leave, I need someone who knows how to stay.”
9. “But sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites. Protect your space and energy.”
10. "My alone feels so good. I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude."
11. “The sun is perfect and you woke this morning. You have enough language in your mouth to be understood. You have a name, and someone wants to call it. Five fingers on your hand and someone wants to hold it. If we start there, every beautiful think that has and will ever exist is possible. If we start there, everything for a moment is right in the world.”
12. “The only darkness we should allow into our lives is the night, for even then, we have the moon.”
13. “Not everyone is okay with living like an open wound. But the thing about open wounds is that, well, you aren’t ignoring it. You’re healing; the fresh hair can get to it. It’s honest. You aren’t rotting. People can give you advice on how to heal without scarring badly. But on the other hand there are some people who’ll feel uncomfortable around you. Some will even point and laugh. But we all have wounds.”
14. "Make peace with your body, it's not manmade, there are no flaws, there are no mistakes."
15. “Little human, I wouldn’t want to be in a world where you don’t exist.”
Thank you Warsan!