salt. is a beautiful, powerful little book, one that my kindle predicted would take me half an hour to read, but instead took me more than a week, as I frequently had to put it down and wander away, blinking back tears while Waheed’s striking words ran through my mind. More than one poem made me gasp, several nearly made me cry. All of them made me think.
Some of the poems are hard, critical little things, making me reflect on my own privilege and position in the world. Others are cries of pain and sadness, some of which I could relate to, some of which were foreign to me. A few show happiness, brightness, joy; these are special treasures, bringing a smile to my face amidst the difficult moments pages before and after. Every page was an adventure, and I was excited to read each poem as I paged slowly through the book.
I don’t read a lot of poetry. The first poems I had read since I was in university were in Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, last year, and it was a lovely, atmospheric book. It was enchanting and made me feel I should try more poetry. salt., beautiful and heartbreaking and breathtaking, makes it easy to imagine reading much, much more. Short, poignant poems like these actually makes it even easier to follow through, too. I tend to assume poetry has to be a boring drudge, but salt. infused my days with short bursts of beautiful words that brought me a lot of pleasure. I’m excited to read Nejma next!