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Online Student Newspaper of John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School


Poetry for Our Generation

Poetry for Our Generation

Beyoncé’s visual album, Lemonade, is inarguably genius. Beyoncé redefines the pop artist, as her art is something that people can delve into for inspiration, a sing-out-loud song with your friends, or an anthem. In Lemonade, between songs, Beyoncé recites poetry written by Warsan Shire.


Warsan Shire is a 27 year old writer, born in Kenya and raised in London by Somali parents. She has three books of poetry: Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth,  Her Blue Body, and Our Men Do Not Belong To Us. Raw, eloquent, complex, sensual, direct, disturbing, just a few words to describe Warsan Shire’s writing. Warsan Shire is London’s first Young Poet Laureate, and her first full poetry collection, titled Extreme Girlhood, is expected in the next year.


Every time I listen to Lemonade, Beyoncé’s reading of Shire’s poetry brings authentic goosebumps. Because of Lemonade and Beyoncé’s coordination with Shire, I have taken a step into the dreamy world of poetry and I think you should too.


There is everything for everyone in poetry. Recent poetry, seen often on social media, promotes femininity, independence, equality, confidence, and individuality, all for the woman. This is the perfect breeding ground for young, sprouting minds such as those of teenage girls. When reading poetry, the reader goes on a journey of self-discovery, while adapting and exploring another way to express themselves. Reading poetry as the mind is developing ensures creativity and expression.


Some books to get you started on your poetic journey:


Milk and Honey by Raupi Kaur

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

A Brilliant Madness by Robert M. Drake

This is an anthology of collective writing from Robert M. Drake written during 2004-2014. A Brilliant Madness is a reflection of the social collapses in the 21st century. The social programming, the daily routine and the economic struggles we all go through blindly. What has happen to us? Where did all the love go? We have all gone beautifully mad in a beautifully mad world


Become by Emery Allen

This is a collection of soft poems that I wrote while becoming, for the ones who are doing the same.


Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav

Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair- from the initial butterflies to the soaring heights- through to the devastating plunge. Lang Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over the world.


I Wrote This For You by pleasefindthis

I need you to understand something. I wrote this for you. I wrote this for you and only you. Everyone else who reads it, doesn’t get it. They may think they get it, but they don’t. This is the sign you’ve been looking for. You were meant to read these words.


Stardust and Sheets by Saiber

“How did you know it was love?”

“It never really hurt this much before”


In her debut collection of poetry, Saiber intimately dwells into the magic of love, sparkled with the essence of life and loss. Each poem is crafted with inspiration from heartfelt emotions immersing the readers into a beautiful, haunting love affair with her writing.


The book encompasses little romantic enigmas under the stars and in between the sheets all unique in its simplicity and honesty. The words touch the reader's’ heart and resonate with them, epitomizing that they are not alone in the way they feel. Beautifully illustrated and tenderly inked, Stardust and Sheets will take you on a homeward journey to your heart and return you in between the stars.


Unwritten Letters to You by Todd B. LaBerge

Unwritten Letters to You is a collection of writings ranging from heartbreak to longing for love. Within each page comes the words that are often so hard to speak, and with each chapter you will find that blood can be turned to ink. If you are dealing with lost love, longing for love, or if you are in love, then this book is for you.


eighteen years by Madisen Kuhn, Laura Supnik(Illustrator)

Eighteen Years is here to tell you that you are not alone. It is meant to be curled up with at night, accompanied by a cup of tea. It's a hug in book-form. It is there to comfort you when fuzzy socks and ice cream just aren't enough. It will inspire you to pick up a pen and write down thoughts of your own. It will help you to say the words that feel stuck in your chest.


Take it on the train. Take it to the beach. Keep it on your nightstand. Keep it in your backpack. Read it at the park on benches beneath hundred-year-old trees. Read it while it's raining. Read it when you're happy. Read it when your heart aches.


Eighteen Years is meant to be bent and worn, written in, tear-stained, and loved.


This book is for you.


Shaking the Trees by Azra Tabassum

From the very first page, Shaking the Trees meets you at the edge of the forest, extends a limb & seduces you into taking a walk through the dark & light of connection. Suddenly, like a gunshot in the very-near distance, you find yourself traipsing through a full-blown love story that you can’t find your way out of because the story is actually the landscape underneath your feet. It’s okay though, you won’t get lost– you won’t go hungry. Azra shakes every tree along the way so their fruit blankets the ground before you. She picks up pieces & hands them to you but not before she shows you how she can love you so gently it will feel like she’s unpeeling you carefully from yourself. She tells you that it isn’t about the bite but the warm juice that slips from the lips down chin. She holds your hand when you’re trudging through the messier parts, shoes getting stuck in the muck of it all, but you’ll keep going with the pulp of the fruit still stuck in-between your teeth, the juice will dry in the crooks of your elbows & in the lines on your palms. You’ll taste bittersweet for days.

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