A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

Poetry for the times

I’m a novel girl, I have to admit. I like meaty stories and would choose a gorgeously written YA fantasy over a book of poetry any day.

That said, there are exceptions. There are poems and old folk ballads I adore. I could probably list a fair few but today, given the times we live in and the world around us right now, I’m just going to say that some of the most beautiful, heartbreaking, hopeful poetry I’ve ever read is by Warsan Shire.

Look her up, seriously. You won’t regret it. There’s a book of poetry I’d probably pass up the YA fantasy for.

My favourite is a poem called “what they did yesterday afternoon” and I’m just going to copy in a piece of it here to show you why I love her work so much.

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt? 

it answered

All of which, really, is to say what we authors often say: words have power. Words can illuminate and transform the world.

What’s your favourite poem?


About Sangu Mandanna

YA author of THE LOST GIRL and A SPARK OF WHITE FIRE. Also a wife, mum and Netflix addict.

2 comments on “Poetry for the times

  1. Katie Marie
    September 17, 2016

    Like you I prefer novels over poetry but the little excerpt you show here was gripping, thank you for sharing I may have to give Warsan Shire a read 🙂

  2. Marianna Reed Barber
    September 18, 2016

    Words defintely have power…to connect people and hearts and minds over the things that matter. Thank you for sharing.

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This entry was posted on September 16, 2016 by and tagged , .


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