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B

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4.56 of 5 stars 4.56  ·  rating details  ·  1,168 ratings  ·  118 reviews
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 Soph ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published November 29th 2011 by The Domino Project (first published November 15th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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.
Stacey
Jan 10, 2012 Stacey rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: My sisters + girlfriends
Recommended to Stacey by: Amanda Peters
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.
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, 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 hea
...more
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 had
...more
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 exc ...more
Gieliza
Such a touching poem. Definitely worth a read.
Sarah
This is an absolutely beautiful, heartfelt poem that makes my words feel clumsy and inaccurate. I love Sarah's work. I've watched all her performances on youtube, which are amazing, and I wish I could see her perform live. At first I thought the book could never contain the soul she puts into her spoken word poetry, and without her vivid presence, it might just fall flat, but the book is such an endearing little thing. The illustrations are adorable and her words lead you on an adventure through ...more
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
...more
Jaymee
I understand people gushing over these kinds of work, but whatever happened to the likes of Anne Carson, Evelyn Lau, Mary Oliver? Even Roland Barthes' (a supposed theorist) book entitled Mourning Diary would be far more worthy to be called poetry/prose poem. It might be unfair to compare this work to theirs, but really. This is something that just panders and wants to capitalize on the Lang Leav genre of poetry.
Will
Feb 21, 2013 Will rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
The piece is a spoken word piece, but published in written form with illustrations as well. Short, charming, moving. Numerous videos are available online of the author performing the work, such as the one that probably got her most of the attention, at a TED talk.

I both listened to the performance and read the written version, and while the illustrations are indeed charming, in written form the piece pales to it's performance, which is clearly polished and refined through frequent recitation. T
...more
Pam Zaragoza
"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."

The poems were really simple. They came from a perspective of a future mother. Simple yet full of love, truth and affection.
Lach Baniya
Completely heartfelt! There is nothing as powerful as this this poem, nothing. Brilliantly poignant and completely sums up the relationship every woman has with her child or her mother.An ultimate all time favorite!
Anjanette Jan
I honestly haven't read it but heard it in a way (not until today!! got a copy!! Yay). This is one of those simple reads that will totally give you pleasure. It's simple yet delicate and is straight to the point. It hits you fair and square.You read it, listen to it and you learn from it . It's one of those realities that gives you enough understanding because every word and phrase it speaks tells a whole lot of truth.


" when you step out of the phone booth and try to fly, and the very people yo
...more
Sarah S
Beautiful 3
Angelica Castillo
I first saw Sarah Kay's performance of B in English (Speaking) class. My professor told us that she is an example of a good speaker, having good voice and confidence. I and some of the people in the class loved it so much that we watched Sarah Kay's performance many times. Not only were we pleased at how she delivers her speech/poem, we also liked the message she's imparting to us.

It tells us that life isn't always easy, but we must not be upset over the presence of challenges. Life is very beau
...more
Emma King
This is one of my favorite poems. Sarah Kay knows just how to speak to us in a way that we can understand what she's experiencing.
Sometimes, I pick up this beautiful, illustrated poem and it makes me feel better or inspires me to write. I highly recommend this poem, especially the performance of it.
Ruben
Dec 05, 2012 Ruben added it
I absolutely love Sarah Kay and her poetry. Though I'm a father of a daughter this poem still speaks to me in hopes that my daughter will one day share this with her daughter.
Cait
I super love this.
Poetry & I often have disagreements but this was just amazing.
Sinead
After watching Sarah Kay's TED performance, I fell in love. I was hooked on her poetry, and through this I discovered various others' performances of spoken word. Thanks to Sarah Kay I've found one of my biggest passions. This is one of those poems that will stay with me for life, since it quite literally changed my life. Seeing it written down allows you to step back and take some time to realise how genius Sarah Kay's work is. I'm looking forward to her collection of poems "Whatever the Wrecka ...more
Carla Harris
This was heart warming and inspiring.

This was heart warming and inspiring.

Anyone woman who has a daughter needs to have this poem in their arsenal of words of wisdom...it tells the story of a mother's love for a daughter...and then when the daughter is old enough to have it to read to be able to give it to her daughter...One truly lovely masterpieces.....
Cathy DePaolo
I have never, ever, not ever had any interest in poetry. I must not have an ear for it. However, this book was recommended as a Mother's Day gift, so I bought it for myself. It was only $10, and I figured I could gift it to someone in my life if I didn't like it. Well! I loved it! Sarah's words spoke to me. I might not like poetry, but I love "B".
Rasha
I absolutely love and respect Sarah Kay. I watch too much TED videos and her performance of this poem was flawlessly amazing and heartfelt. I loved reading it all over again. It's just so beautiful..and little do I know about poetry but I can say that I'm sure this poem is one of the best poems out there!
Joey
What a great and whimsical poem! I'd say it reminisces the Winnie-the-Pooh novels by A.A. Milne. I don't have much to say except it was short, fun, sweet, and whimsical (again.) I suggest you go watch a video of her performing it after you read it, if you haven't already.
Amber
Borrowed this from the library thinking it would be a collection, turned out to be a single poem. Still brought me to tears, however. A fantastic piece on what it means to be a modern mother with a modern daughter- affirming and empowering.
Steve Clancy
I love this poem.

Sarah Kay's recital of this at the start of a TED talk she did in 2011 made me fall in love with poetry all over again. (and maybe just a little with her... )

Read it. Try not to cry...
Marvin
You can watch the whole thing on TED, and then decide if you want it in a pretty hardcover with illustrations.
I did, and now have a favorite poem. Maybe/Hopefully the first one I will memorize entirely.
Emran Hossain
Nov 16, 2014 Emran Hossain marked it as to-read
I'm really in to poems, in how they express issues in a certain way! I love the idea where poets contribute great morals to their story,of what I can implement in my daily life
Sharon E T Berry
This touches something inside you.

You'll read it and watch the videos and read more and watch more. Because the rhythm and words touch something inside you. Every time.
Ashley
This is a beautiful poem. It is lyrical and hopeful. The illustrations are appropriate and sweetly compliment the words. Sarah Kay inspires me to write poetry again.
Janell
Truth

Art is life. Life is Art. This is nourishing. Enjoy. Especially on rainy days with rainbows and Dragons. Just B. Beautiful..Best..Soulful....
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Poetry: Sarah Kay 1 6 Feb 21, 2013 09:37PM  
  • Love, an Index
  • Goat In The Snow
  • A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New (Soma)tics
  • Fjords Vol.1
  • This Can't Be Life
  • Almost Invisible: Poems
  • Thrall
  • Alien vs. Predator
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  • Out of True
  • Snowflake / different streets
  • Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys
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  • The Madness Vase
  • Dispatch from the Future: Poems
  • The Bones Below
  • The Oregon Trail Is the Oregon Trail
  • A Thousand Mornings
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Sarah Kay is an American poet. Known for her spoken word poetry, Kay is the founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E., a group dedicated to using spoken word as an inspirational tool.

Sarah Kay, a graduate of Brown University, was born in New York to a Japanese American mother and a Jewish American father. She began performing poetry at the Bowery Poetry Club in the East Village at the age of 1
...more
More about Sarah Kay...
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“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.”
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“And I'm going to pain the 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.” 0 likes
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