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B

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In 2011, Sarah Kay performed "B" at the TED conference in Long Beach, California to standing ovations. Now the video of that performance has been forwarded to mothers and daughters (and fathers and sons) all over the world. Originally written in 2007, "B" is a thank you note, a love letter, a wish, a promise, a confession, and a secret. With beautiful illustrations by In 2011, Sarah Kay performed "B" at the TED conference in Long Beach, California to standing ovations. Now the video of that performance has been forwarded to mothers and daughters (and fathers and sons) all over the world. Originally written in 2007, "B" is a thank you note, a love letter, a wish, a promise, a confession, and a secret. With beautiful illustrations by Sophia Janowitz, "B" is finally available in this whimsical, magical book.


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In 2011, Sarah Kay performed "B" at the TED conference in Long Beach, California to standing ovations. Now the video of that performance has been forwarded to mothers and daughters (and fathers and sons) all over the world. Originally written in 2007, "B" is a thank you note, a love letter, a wish, a promise, a confession, and a secret. With beautiful illustrations by In 2011, Sarah Kay performed "B" at the TED conference in Long Beach, California to standing ovations. Now the video of that performance has been forwarded to mothers and daughters (and fathers and sons) all over the world. Originally written in 2007, "B" is a thank you note, a love letter, a wish, a promise, a confession, and a secret. With beautiful illustrations by Sophia Janowitz, "B" is finally available in this whimsical, magical book.

30 review for B

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Wonderful poem about potential - also watch the video on YouTube.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jarkko Laine

    I'm not usually a big fan of poetry. I just don't get it. But when I heard Sarah Kay recite this poem (it was a video from the TED conference, which I found on Seth Godin's blog, I think), I immediately fell in love with the poem. In book form, the poem does lose some of the punch, but it's still a brilliant work of art.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    Ya know how sometimes you read something that strikes a cord in your soul and makes your heart feel like it could burst? Ya know how sometimes this something is so wonderful you have a physical reaction to it (as in, tears + goosebumps from head to toe)? Ya know how sometimes poetry is so powerful it takes your breath away? Ya know how sometimes words are beautiful in a way that to say they're beautiful is simply not enough? Do you, do you know? This book IS that something.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Eunice Moral

    ❤❤❤❤❤ ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sara Alaee

    This is ABSOLUTELY one of the best poems Ive ever read! So beautiful! So touching! So lovely! Sarah Kay has performed her poem at a TED talk in 2011. Here you can watch it: http://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if... Its just unbelievably truly wonderful! Please dont miss it. Please! If I should have a daughter, instead of "Mom," she's gonna call me "Point B," because that way she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I'm going to paint solar systems on This is ABSOLUTELY one of the best poems I’ve ever read! So beautiful! So touching! So lovely! Sarah Kay has performed her poem at a TED talk in 2011. Here you can watch it: http://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if... It’s just … unbelievably truly wonderful! Please don’t miss it. Please…! “If I should have a daughter, instead of "Mom," she's gonna call me "Point B," because that way she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I'm going to paint solar systems on the backs of her hands so she has to learn the entire universe before she can say, "Oh, I know that like the back of my hand." And she's going to learn that this life will hit you hard in the face, wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by Band-Aids or poetry. So the first time she realizes that Wonder Woman isn't coming, I'll make sure she knows she doesn't have to wear the cape all by herself because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I've tried...”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shamma

    It was like a dream! I loved it so much. If only it was longer.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Before I discovered Spoken Word Poetry, I never cared for poetry because at the time anything that rhyme was pure garbage and I remember in school how we had to read and interpret poems and it was utter bullsh*!@t. Then when I discover that I needed to find other forms of art to entertain and inspire me, I encountered Sarah Kay's TED talk and was purely spellbound by her verses, her timing, and the message she wanted to capture to her audience. After I saw that beautiful video, I immediately Before I discovered Spoken Word Poetry, I never cared for poetry because at the time anything that rhyme was pure garbage and I remember in school how we had to read and interpret poems and it was utter bullsh*!@t. Then when I discover that I needed to find other forms of art to entertain and inspire me, I encountered Sarah Kay's TED talk and was purely spellbound by her verses, her timing, and the message she wanted to capture to her audience. After I saw that beautiful video, I immediately devoured everything about her and poetry and discovered this whole volume of poets who speak about modern topics and show true emotions when performing their poems. At the time, Sarah did not have anything published until this book came out and I desperately wanted it at the time but it was expensive. Then on Goodreads Awards I saw that she had finally published a collection of poems and they were selling this book for $5 on Amazon. So I immediately bought them and decided to read this one! I love the simple illustrations, and how they phrase the poem among these pages with illustrations. I honestly believe that Sarah Kay is one of the best creative and free spirited poets in the 21st century. She makes her poetry sound so easy and yet speak volumes of events that I experience in my life when it comes to love, happiness, and life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Amazon's Domino Project presents a small gift binding of Sarah Kay's "B," the poem she debuted at the TED conference. One can't help suspecting that the decision to publish was based more on the potential tie-in for Mother's Day sales than on the quality of the poem itself - Kay's verse, while serviceable, is hardly inspiring enough to warrant a stand-alone edition, no matter how many YouTube hits she has. (Try a mental comparison to Ginsberg's Howl, say, and see if you don't agree.) Perhaps Amazon's Domino Project presents a small gift binding of Sarah Kay's "B," the poem she debuted at the TED conference. One can't help suspecting that the decision to publish was based more on the potential tie-in for Mother's Day sales than on the quality of the poem itself - Kay's verse, while serviceable, is hardly inspiring enough to warrant a stand-alone edition, no matter how many YouTube hits she has. (Try a mental comparison to Ginsberg's Howl, say, and see if you don't agree.) Perhaps excellent illustration could have justified this edition, but Janowitz's work is desultory at best, leaving me to believe this is little more than a calculated attempt to cash in on an internet phenomenon.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Guttu

    Because there's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away. I never felt like reading English poetry. Until recently, I was not even aware of the famous poets. But somehow, The interest generated. I saw the video of this poem on TED talks. I loved it and wanted to read it. Again and again. Love lies in simple things. A mother's love for her daughter has been beautifully explained. I wish there was more.... “Because there's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away.” I never felt like reading English poetry. Until recently, I was not even aware of the famous poets. But somehow, The interest generated. I saw the video of this poem on TED talks. I loved it and wanted to read it. Again and again. Love lies in simple things. A mother's love for her daughter has been beautifully explained. I wish there was more....

  10. 5 out of 5

    Doms Candels

    i love No Matter the Wreckage more coz 1. it has more poems that's about it. ⋆

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gieliza

    Such a touching poem. Definitely worth a read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert Zimmermann

    I first heard this poem performed quite awhile ago. I was just starting to listen to spoken word poetry through the IndieFeed: Performance Poetry podcast, and from that I was searching youtube for various poets and videos. I came across Sarah Kay and fell in love with what I heard. The performance I listened to was from the TED conference, referenced in the description. It became one of my favorite poems to listen to. This is why I was happy to find out that the poem was available in print. I I first heard this poem performed quite awhile ago. I was just starting to listen to spoken word poetry through the IndieFeed: Performance Poetry podcast, and from that I was searching youtube for various poets and videos. I came across Sarah Kay and fell in love with what I heard. The performance I listened to was from the TED conference, referenced in the description. It became one of my favorite poems to listen to. This is why I was happy to find out that the poem was available in print. I hadn’t read a spoken word poem before. I didn’t know what to expect. Would the emotions, the power, or the essence Sarah Kay brought to this poem through speaking it out translate to the page and move me? Well it did. I’m one to enjoy seeing words on a page. I like to see how they are placed on that page; how the poet wishes his or her words to be visualized on the page. For B, there may not be many lines and there may not be many words, but B holds the beauty Kay’s performance in how it’s presented. There are illustrations to go along with the text and I think that makes the experience that much better. The reader is able to slowly soak in the poem over roughly 50 pages, when a less creative and resourceful poet may only have used 2 or 3 pages for a poem the same length. At first I had at hard time justifying paying for one poem that I knew only takes the poet a few minutes to read, but I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me from trying it out. I’m happy to have B and Sarah Kay on my shelf. This has become one of my favorite books of poetry. I’m happy to have it in my collection.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Hudson

    Sarah Kay has been a performing poet since she was 14-years-old. At 22, she is now a slam poet who wrote a powerful note of love for an unborn daughter. First performed at TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design), B opens with the lines, If I should have a daughter, instead of mom, shes going to call me Point B. Because that way she knows that no matter what happens at least she can always find her way to me. In her poem, Kay tells her daughter she will always be there to help with the Sarah Kay has been a performing poet since she was 14-years-old. At 22, she is now a slam poet who wrote a powerful note of love for an unborn daughter. First performed at TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design), “B” opens with the lines, “If I should have a daughter, instead of mom, she’s going to call me Point B. Because that way she knows that no matter what happens at least she can always find her way to me.” In her poem, Kay tells her daughter she will always be there to help with the heartache that is sure to come from life. She also wants her daughter to know that she should never stop believing, never stop hoping, and never stop loving. It has been called a “thank you note, love letter, wish, promise, confession, and a secret.” All this from one small poem that can be read or listened to in minutes. I encourage you to watch Kay’s performance (http://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if...), which is compelling, but you can also get a copy of the book, which will let you keep it always and read aloud to your own teen daughter. The slim volume includes beautiful, yet simple black-and-white illustrations by Sophia Janowitz, The author provided me with a copy of this book to review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Asma

    A beautiful poem that speaks about the divine connection between a mother and her daughter. How mothers should raise their daughters to be loving, independent, fierce and strong. How mothers should build their daughters to raise higher than society's standards and primitive limitations. How mothers should simply be mothers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mijanur Rahman

    Beautiful. Words are powerful!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Priyanka

    If I ever have a daughter, this one's for you!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kels

    "Spoken word poetry is the art of performance poetry. I tell people that it involves creating poetry that just doesn't want to sit on paper. That something about it demands to be heard outloud or witnessed in person." -Sarah Kay I remember watching Sarah Kay perform "B" at a TED conference and it was so powerfully explosive, I think I felt something in the atmosphere shift and ignite. So when I saw that she published a hardcover of her spoken word piece, well, how could I not get this and read it "Spoken word poetry is the art of performance poetry. I tell people that it involves creating poetry that just doesn't want to sit on paper. That something about it demands to be heard outloud or witnessed in person." -Sarah Kay I remember watching Sarah Kay perform "B" at a TED conference and it was so powerfully explosive, I think I felt something in the atmosphere shift and ignite. So when I saw that she published a hardcover of her spoken word piece, well, how could I not get this and read it and experience that electric spark all over again? I'll admit that while this book manages to tie in whimsical creativity with fun and meaningful illustrations, it still pales in comparison to actually hearing and seeing Sarah Kay perform it. Like she said, it demands to be heard outloud. Yet the words, however, are unchanged, poignant, and beautifully crafted with a resplendent message, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. So do yourself a favor and at the very least, click this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0snNB... and experience for yourself "B". Whether you're a fan of poetry, or a musophobist, you'll find it hard not to fall in love with spoken word poetry when you listen to such a phenomenal work of art.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Von Bariuad

    You're just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house, so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else-- find the boy who lit the fire in the first place, to see if you can change him. I am never a fan of poetry. I just can't stand it or I just don't understand the gist of overusing figures of speech, trying to figure out what the auther really meant, do they intend the readers to know what they really want the readers to know or “You're just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house, so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else-- find the boy who lit the fire in the first place, to see if you can change him.” I am never a fan of poetry. I just can't stand it or I just don't understand the gist of overusing figures of speech, trying to figure out what the auther really meant, do they intend the readers to know what they really want the readers to know or idk, maybe it's an art of pure enigma. Or I am just over-dramatizing. But while I am waiting for my husband buy all the things he needs for the house, I stumbled over this book and thought of giving this to my 2 year old daughter for her 16th birthday. It is really touching, it gives out the motherly soul in you. I've read it more than twice. I even read it to my husband. LOL. I even heard there's a video of Sarah Kay reciting her poem, check her out! http://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_kay_if

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brandy Shark

    I've tried to watch any video of Sarah Kay's performances that I can get my hands on. All of her poems are real, and her voice is just spectacular. Watching her perform truly is a treat, even if it's just over the internet. Now let me say that this is a wonderful poem, and I love the artwork that went along with it. You can absolutely sit and read it in one sitting, and I would suggest you do so because starting, and then picking it back up later will interrupt the flow. But if you're planning on I've tried to watch any video of Sarah Kay's performances that I can get my hands on. All of her poems are real, and her voice is just spectacular. Watching her perform truly is a treat, even if it's just over the internet. Now let me say that this is a wonderful poem, and I love the artwork that went along with it. You can absolutely sit and read it in one sitting, and I would suggest you do so because starting, and then picking it back up later will interrupt the flow. But if you're planning on buying this book, you should know that it IS just the poem "B". I had been under the impression that it was a collection of her poetry, and was slightly disappointed that it was just the one. But I do think is a clever idea, the poem and the art in a small book. It's intimate and personal, like the poem was written just for you. I would love if she published a series of these poems, with the art in an anthology. Reading or listening to just one of her pieces simply isn't enough.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Israa Laidi

    Oh heavens ! Whenever I read Sarah kay's Poetry I remember those great words that Ms kitting said to his students in "dead poets society" film. He said : "We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we're members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion. Medecine, law, engineering, business, these are all important to sustain life. Yet POETRY, BEAUTY, LOVE, these are what we stay alive for." I first knew Sarah in one of Tedx's speeches Oh heavens ! Whenever I read Sarah kay's Poetry I remember those great words that Ms kitting said to his students in "dead poets society" film. He said : "We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we're members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion. Medecine, law, engineering, business, these are all important to sustain life. Yet POETRY, BEAUTY, LOVE, these are what we stay alive for." I first knew Sarah in one of Tedx's speeches where she performed her poem "if I should've a daughter". This latter was really fascinating so that I decided to read all her poems. But reading (for) her and listening (from) her are two different things. She was not born to write poetry only but to perform it also... Oh sarah !!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pragyan Pradhan

    I was introduced to spoken word poetry on 21 November, 2014. After that I started searching for performances and came across this. This is the poem, which introduced me to Sarah Kay's work and her amazing strong, soothing voice, which has this beautiful essence of laughter. This is a poem, which still stays with me, soothes me, swells my heart and makes me appreciate things as they are. Sarah Kay has this voice of reasoning and positivity, that makes me believe in optimism. And this is the work I was introduced to spoken word poetry on 21 November, 2014. After that I started searching for performances and came across this. This is the poem, which introduced me to Sarah Kay's work and her amazing strong, soothing voice, which has this beautiful essence of laughter. This is a poem, which still stays with me, soothes me, swells my heart and makes me appreciate things as they are. Sarah Kay has this voice of reasoning and positivity, that makes me believe in optimism. And this is the work that introduced me to her world. Please watch her perform at TED2011 here. Oh and this book is an art with Sarah's words and Sophia Janowitz's very thoughtful master strokes.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Glire

    I know that I'm in the minority here, but I truly prefer the book form of the poem than the performance; I like the words of Sarah Kay, but not the way she says them. Which is an irony because this is supposed to be an "spoken word poem". Either way, B is beautiful and (like every great poem) timeless ode to motherhood. Can you adopt me, Sarah Kay?

  23. 5 out of 5

    James

    A spoken-word poem put to writing with illustrations by Sophia Janowitz. I liked when I heard this as a Ted Talk and think Janowitz's illustrations are beautiful. This is sort of kid's book like but probably a good gift for parents-to-be. If they happen to be women and having a daughter.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Neil (or bleed)

    B for beautiful!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shamma

    This is my favourite poem of all time so I had to get a physical copy of it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    BookishDubai

    Beautiful. just beautiful.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Field

    This is a short poetry collection that was originally written as a TED talk, available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3Ks1... This is short and quickly over, but so so powerful. To anyone who has had a bad day, or a bad several weeks, they are going to sit up and listen, and find hope in these words. This is a conversation being had from a mother to her one day child. These words are filled with hope, reality, heartbreak, honesty and love. The words are clever, quick and interesting plays This is a short poetry collection that was originally written as a TED talk, available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3Ks1... This is short and quickly over, but so so powerful. To anyone who has had a bad day, or a bad several weeks, they are going to sit up and listen, and find hope in these words. This is a conversation being had from a mother to her one day child. These words are filled with hope, reality, heartbreak, honesty and love. The words are clever, quick and interesting plays on sounds and words that don't always go together but fit together so nicely, both in reading the words, and also listening to them spoken.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    I havent had this book on my shelf for too long, but this morning I felt a random pull to open it up and read it. This poem or illustrated short book came at a time when I needed to hear that everything will be ok (I am really summarizing here please read the book its more beautifully poetic than I am being at the moment). Thanks Kelly for this present; it was given to me when I most needed it. I haven’t had this book on my shelf for too long, but this morning I felt a random pull to open it up and read it. This poem or illustrated short book came at a time when I needed to hear that everything will be ok (I am really summarizing here please read the book it’s more beautifully poetic than I am being at the moment). Thanks Kelly for this present; it was given to me when I most needed it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tina Bui

    Sarah Kay is one of my favorite contemporary poets, and I was immediately love struck the first time I heard this poem in the opening of her 2011 TED talk. I never tire of hearing these lines and visualizing the imagery she crafts, stanza after stanza, so to be able to have this piece in book form allows me to read these words over and over again.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mariam Alneyadi

    Because there's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away. “Because there's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away.”

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