Nayyirah Waheed is an African-American poet who has published two books of incandescent poetry, entitled Salt and Nejma. She began writing at the age of eleven, after being given an assignment to write a poem for a community newspaper by her English teacher. Since then, she has touched many with her published work and also gained a loyal following on Instagram.
Poems come as they will. They come as they want, when I’m waking, eating, exercising, chatting with someone. Sometimes they come to me as a whole, sometimes a line. I think it’s one of the ways my soul communicates with me, I do my best to sit down and listen.
She breaks the rules of poetry, with her signature three-line poems and creative use of full stops. Nayyirah Waheed’s minimalistic poetry covers topics such as love, identity, race, and feminism; and she burns through our ideas around these things with stark clarity.
Here are 11 of her captivating poems that touched us deeply: