Salt, released in 2013, is a body of work by poet, Nayyirah Waheed that has taken both the poetry and social media worlds by storm. But don’t let the social media aspect of it create a negative association for you; the point is the words resonate. Like any truly good work, the compilation is deeply personal while being completely universal.
Nayyirah speaks to all the aspects of herself: an emotional being, a lover, a woman, a black woman, a mother, a natural entity. Through this she provides deeply wise social commentary. Poem after poem cuts to truth, and if one poem isn’t your truth you feel you are learning levels of understanding and the deep truth of others. Many of her poems are just three words or three stances; they are minimalistic in their structure which in turn makes Salt extremely accessible.
Even if you have never read poetry or been interested in it, this book is worth the read.
Additionally, Nayyirah provides a provoking and honest commentary of race in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
For me, as a white woman, her insights are evaluable in better understanding the emotional trauma and torment white suppressors have imprinted on the world’s communities. It’s important that these emotions are understood if our culture wants to heal these wounds, and this book is a powerful source of emotional knowledge.
Countless poems in this book may bring you to tears and equally so, countless others may bring you peace. Salt is an emotional exploration and will have you confronting yourself, as well as the world.
She writes: “if i write what you may feel but cannot say. it does not make me a poet. it makes me a bridge. and i am humbled and i am grateful to assist your heart in speaking. -grateful”
Truth is her message and this truth will, poem after poem, bring you home to yourself.