Review: salt. by Nayyirah Waheed

salt. is a journey through warmth and sharpness. This collection of poetry explores the realities of multiple identities, language, diasporic life & pain, the self, community, healing, celebration, and love.

This was one of the most important poetry collection I’ve read to date.
In the short amount of pages that I got to read, I felt like I got to know both myself and the author so well. Nayyirah Waheed captivated me from start to finish.

Here are a few (…too many) of my favorites:

“even the small poems mean something. they are often
whales in the bodies of tiny fish.”

“what
massacre
happens to my son
between
him
living within my skin.
drinking my cells.
my water.
my organs.
and
his soft psyche turning cruel.
does he not remember
he
is half woman.”
— 
from

“would
you still want to travel to
that
country
if
you could not take a camera with you.”
— 
a question of appropriation

“black women breathe flowers, too.
just because
we are taught to grow them in the lining of our quiet (our
grandmothers secret)
does not mean
we do not swelter with wild tenderness.
we soft swim.
we petal.
we scent limbs.
love.
we just have been too long a garden for sharp and deadly
teeth.
so we
have
grown
ourselves
into
greenhouses.”
 greenhouses

“when you are struggling
in your
writing (art).
it usually means
you
are hearing one thing.
but
writing (creating) another.”
honest | risk

“i bleed
every month.
but
do not die.
how am i
not
magic.”
 the lie

“sit in the ocean.
it is one of the best medicines
on the planet.”
— the water

THIS!!!!!

“i don’t pay attention to the
world ending.
it has ended for me
many times
and began again in the morning.”

“you
see your face.
you
see a flaw.
how. if you are the only one who has this face.”
— the beauty construct

“i am simply the poet.
the
poem
is
the one
that
can change your life.”
— medium

“i am a brutally soft woman.”

“i am a black wave
in
a white sea.
always seen
and
unseen.”
— the difference

“what
we hide
and do not
say
turns into
another mouth
that
only we know.”
— mouths

“there is you and you.
this is a relationship.
this is the most important relationship.”
— home

“why can we never
talk
about the blood.
the blood of our ancestors.
the blood of our history.
the blood between our legs.”
— blood

“your heart is the softest place on earth. take care of it.”

“if
the ocean
can calm itself
so can you.
we
are both
salt water
mixed
with
air.”
— meditation

“you.
not wanting me.
was
the beginning of me
wanting myself.
thank you.”
— the hurt

“stop speaking.
use your eyes, instead.”
— the eye fire

“can you be a daughter.
if you have no
mother language.”
— african american iii

“you do not have to be a fire
for
every mountain blocking you.
you could be a water
and
soft river your way to freedom
too.”
— options

“to not be safe on the earth.
simply
because
of the color of your skin.
how does a being survive this.”
— trayvon martin

“listen to my poems.
but
do not look for me.
look for you.”
— you

“no’
might make them angry
but
it will make you free.”
— if no one has ever told you, your freedom is more important than their anger

“never
trust anyone
who says
they do not see color.
this means
to them
you are invisible.”
— is

“when i am afraid to speak
is when i speak.
that is when it is most important.”
— the freedom in fear

“i am relieved.
when
i see the feminine presence
in a man’s eyes.
it means
he is a peace
i do not
have
to
bring to him.”
— ease

“apologize to your body.
maybe
that’s where the healing begins.”
— starting

“i have always been the woman of my dreams.”

“even if you are a small forest surviving off of moon alone.
your light is extraordinary.”
— reminder

“if someone
does not want me
it is not the end of the world
but
if i do not want me
the world is nothing but endings.”

“i am a dream still dreaming.”

“healing
begins
the moment
you
want it to.”
— time

“remember.
you were a writer
before
you ever
put
word to paper.
just because you were not writing
externally.
does not mean you were not writing
internally.”
— stories

“you
are
your
own
standard of
beauty.”
— mirror work

“it’s not about making you uncomfortable.
it’s about making me comfortable.”
— reparations

“‘i love myself.’
the
quietest.
simplest.
most
powerful.
revolution.
ever.”
— ism

“the thing you are most
afraid to write.

write that..”
— advice to young writers


Simply, salt. was an honest and enlightening read that dealt with a plethora of subjects such as racism, gender stereotyping and white-privilege just to name a few.

The writing and topics just completely took my breath away… I’m still in awe. This came at the perfect time for me to read and I cannot thank the writer enough.

5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying salt., just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

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