There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker (Book Review)
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Morgan Parker has her hand in a lot of stuff.
She is an award-winning poet, she has three published books, she has a live show, and she still finds time to be one-half of the poet duo, The Other Black Girl Collective. I didn't know all of this when I chose to picked up her most recent publication.
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce is a collection of poems around the idea of Blackness and Black Womanhood. Sometimes the view is pointed outward, like in "The President Has Never Said The Word Black." Most of the time, it was pointed inward, like in "Hottentot Venus" or "Ain't Misbehavin'."
I was excited about this book the moment I heard about it. I don't gravitate to poetry but I like to branch out and plus- this book has Beyonce in the title. It HAS to be good. With all the accolades, I expected this collection to be show stopping. But that wasn't the case for me.
I Might Not Be The Target Audience
I hate to admit it but it took me a long time to warm up to her style. I was not feeling any sort of attachment until I got more than halfway through the book. The closer I got to the end, the more I liked what I was reading. I mean, it went from not liking it at all to not disliking it.
For me, the writing was choppy and the context was sometimes buried too deep for me to find. Other times, if I understood the poem, I was wishing for more of it. I love "99 Problems", a list of problems she faces (she put Oppression on the list four times). But then again, I love lists.
I need a discussion group for this book. I think it should be added to high school and college reading lists with an expert on poetry style. For me to like this book, I need more time with it. I would recommend this title IF you love poetry AND you are interested in experiencing Black Womanhood more deeply. I would not recommend it for the casual reader, sorry.
Do you have a poetry experience similar to mine? Did you like the book a second or third time?
About the Author
Black & Bookish is the brainchild of Antoinette Scully, educator and lover of all things bookish. She is on a quest to fill your bookshelves with beloved authors of the African Diaspora. When she's not hanging out online, she's living it up as the mother of two rambunctious girls and wife of a local filmmaker.