Bantu Knots & Butterflies:
A Written Reflection

Where contemporary conversation fails, poetry sustains. And poetry has sustained the lives of many.

 

Arranged in three sections, Bantu Knots & Butterflies is a collection of poetry that was born out of the reflections of poet Maryam Azeeza Muhammad. This collection explores her pilgrimage through womanhood, vulnerability, and spirituality as it relates to her Blackness. Inspired by great womanist writers like Alice Walker and Audre Lorde, Muhammad touches on growth and empowerment, but in a way that sheds light on its difficulties. It demonstrates the honest truth that nobody's journey is linear, nor progressive all of the time.

 

Bantu Knots & Butterflies is based around the idea that one's freedom is their own responsibility, and whether or not they want to take it is up to them. Bantu knots are a protective style; they represent being sheltered from the outside world and wrapped up, similar to a cocoon before it sheds its skin. Butterflies represent the shedding of the cocoon finally taking place. This results in a need for absolute freedom; a release from obstacles that were once thought impermeable.

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