With her fifth studio album, released in December 2013, Beyoncé introduced her fanbase to the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Bey's been studying up since then: in her HBO special LEMONADE, which premiered tonight, the singer quoted the Somali-British poet Warsan Shire. Words and adaptations from some of Shire's poems, including "For Women Who Are Difficult To Love," "The unbearable weight of staying (the end of the relationship)," and "Nail Technician As Palm Reader," serve as interludes between songs. In the production credits for LEMONADE Warsan Shire is noted as having worked on "Film Adaptation and Poetry."
"You are terrifying and strange and beautiful."
"I tried to change
Tried to be softer, prettier"
"The nail technician pushes my cuticles
back, turns my hand over,
stretches the skin on my palm
and says I see your daughters
and their daughters.
That night, in a dream, the first girl emerges
from a slit in my stomach. "