I. absolutely. loved. this. book.
I cannot begin to express the extent to which this book has empowered me. The extent to which this book has made me feel like I am not alone in the struggles that I face with each passing day. First and foremost, as a woman of colour. Then as a woman of this generation. And then just as a woman. As a human being.
As an individual worthy of respect and love.
This book is laced with so many different themes that string together aspects of love, race, culture, femininity, individuality, healing, self-discovery and so much more. Each piece takes you a step further into the depths of your emotions and with every page the reader feels as though they are uncovering pages of themselves to understand their own identity.
The themes that form the foundation of this magnificent compound of literature and art have so much relevance in today’s society and that is what makes this book all the more empowering.
Sarah Aluko, of West African descent, is an incredibly inspiring woman whose words have the power to change lives everywhere. A woman whose writing style reminds you of a number of wonderful contemporary and extremely powerful women of colour such as Rupi Kaur and Nayyirah Waheed, who are creating a legacy for themselves. Sarah Aluko is walking on an artistic vision parallel and just as competent as theirs.
There wasn’t one point at which I didn’t lift my palm to cover an open-mouth that was a result of reading the graceful mesh of words that form Sarah’s poetry. There wasn’t one piece that I didn’t feel moved by. And that is true art. To have the ability to influence your readers to such an extent that they feel emotionally charged after reading every single piece is evidence of the strength of an exceptionally talented writer.
And Sarah not only possesses this ability but utilises it with so much integrity and grace. Sarah is an incredible poetess and her work Firstborn is evidence that writers have the strength to influence the thoughts and ideas of everyone regardless of what gender or background. Writing is not just a gift but also a skill which has the ability to make a change in the world – if used with the right incentive. And Sarah does just that.
Her talent, powerful feminist views and incredible will to bring to the fore a worldview of a woman broken in love but still fighting, is what sets Sarah aside and allows her to make her own niche in the contemporary poetry community. I won’t take even a second to rate this book a 5/5.
Because that is just how incredible it was.
So the time has come once again to pick one poem from the book that I absolutely devoured, and here it is:
“For those who think that I am strong
I am not strong because I wanted to be
I became strong by default.
With every let down
Every tear that fell
For I fought not for sport
But for survival.”
For those of who are not following Sarah Aluko on Instagram – go and check out her visually creative page now! And for those of you who haven’t bought Sarah’s Firstborn just yet – if you love incredible women writers such as Rupi Kaur and Nayyirah Waheed then you will absolutely love Sarah Aluko!
Until next week, my loves.