Beyoncé, poet

 Beyoncé, poet
Beyonce, a star performer, has taken on a new challenge: poetry. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Beyoncé is a superstar. She's an amazing singer and dancer, is model-gorgeous, has an adorable daughter and fellow superstar husband Jay Z. By any measure, she's really got it all.

So why tackle poetry? Well, why shoudn't she?


The new issue of CR Fashion Book has Beyoncé's first published poem. Called "Bey the Light," it touches on motherhood, connecting across generations, and on/offstage personas -- all expected subjects. Most surprising, perhaps, is her short riff on imperfection:

Utopias, they don't much interest me.
I always mess things up a bit.
It's chaos, in part, that helps us see.

The poem was "remixed" by Forrest Gander. I'm not entirely clear what that means in terms of poetry -- with words, we usually just say "edited."

Gander tells Slate that he didn't merely edit Beyoncé's poem: He pulled her words from an interview she had done for the magazine to create "Bey the Light." "I’m very interested in formal exploration, in using others’ voices," Gander explains.

At the Wire at the Atlantic, Kevin O'Keefe puts on his pop-superstar-poetry-critic hat and selects three stanzas that are "probably the best... clearly what Beyoncé actually wanted to write."

You call me a singer, but I'm called to transform,
to suck up the grief, anxiety, and loss
of those who hear me into my song's form.

I'm a vessel for all that isn't right,
for break-ups and lies and double-cross.
I sing into that vessel a healing light.

To let go of pain that people can't bear.
I don't do that myself, I call in the light.
I summon God to take me there.

Beyonce appears on the cover of the new issue of CR Fashion Book, where her poem is accompanied by an interview -- and a fashion photo spread, of course.

Book news and more; I'm @paperhaus on Twitter