salt. by nayyirah waheed


I'm not usually a poetry kind of person. I like my reading to be lush, full of paragraphs and characters and action that I can sink into; the joy I get from reading comes from sinking into the narrator's perspective, experiencing the world (often a wholly different world than the one I live in) through their eyes.

Poetry is both more and less of an experience than reading prose is; on one hand it doesn't build an entire world around you, full of people, characters, and action, but on the other hand it draws you into deep emotional experiences and truths and vague puzzles that draw out your mind into considering the world from different perspectives. It it less of a physical experience, and more of a mental and emotional one. This is what salt. by nayyirah waheed is.

I would not have chosen to read this book on my own; I needed a good friend to assign it as homework for the podcast that we co-host to nudge me into reading it. Like I said, I'm not usually a poetry person.

The first time I read this, I blasted through it in a lunch break at work; the second time I cracked the book on a Saturday and spent the whole afternoon with it, taking my time, reading a poem and pausing to really think it through and turn it around in my brain, examine it from all it's different sides. That's how this book is best enjoyed; slowly, with time to ponder what the words inside mean to you and your outlook on the world.

The words in this book are spare, but they contain more truth than I would have thought possible in so few words. I learned a lot from this book, both about experiences that people have had that I will never experience, that I had never truly thought of before this book, and about experiences that are deeply, personally meaningful for me. I highly recommend that you give this book a shot, even if poetry isn't your thing. It will break you down, and build you back up, and teach you a lot that you never expected to know.

5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.