(Photo By BillBoard.Com)

R&B superstar Alicia Keys is no stranger to the music world. Ever since her debut in 2001, she has been a fan favorite. Her beautiful voice and insane way with a piano are at the root of her success. However, Miss Keys also has a knack for poetry. In 2004, she released a book entitled Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics. The book consists of a series of unreleased poems she wrote, as well as poems that inspired some of her biggest hits. After the jump, check out one of her unreleased poems inspired by a trip to Africa.

“Cosmopolitan Woman”

(Poem By Alicia Keys)

I don’t want to be
No cosmopolitan woman
With big ol’ city sophistication
And a facade of perfection
Every page of the story
Filled with predictability
Of a lost soul
A hole in your heart
Only filled up temporarily
By clothes
And money
And 101 ways to find Mr. Right
By sex and superficiality
Cause we’ve all lost sight

No I don’t want to be
A cosmopolitan woman
I just wanna be myself
I may not be perfect
But I am brave
May have pimples on my skin
But my glow is from within
I damn sho ain’t cosmopolitan
And you won’t find me on the cover

Pages of a magazine rip and tear
With time the people are forgotten
Stories are outdated
But you’ll never find a hole in my soul
And my story keeps growing
And only gets better
I have real skin that’s tough like leather
I’m a go-getter
And I’m gonna win
Who gives a shit about cosmopolitan
Even only in my beginning stages
I’m more than just a silent woman
Frozen on white pages
Sick of these cages
But I am a lion

In my differences I am defiant
And that is more beautiful
Than any photo shoot
Than any cover story
Fixed with Photoshop
It’s gotta stop
This image of beauty
Is all wrong
But it’s been going on too long to realize
The prize is down inside the deepest region
Of your available soul
Behold
Read the story
And let it be told
Even in my beginning stages
I am more than just a silent woman
Frozen on white pages

As stated earlier, this poem was inspired by a trip Keys took to Africa. She was visiting an AIDS clinic and noticed that the only magazines the facility had were ones like Cosmopolitan with mostly white faces on the cover and inside. This upset her because she felt like the women of Africa deserved something that was more relative to them and their lives/culture. So she decided to write. This poem can be found on page 53 in her book.

**My Two Cents: I like this poem because I really loved the story and meaning behind it. I don’t think we need  more magazines and media outlets for women of color just in Africa but all over the world. And I think Alicia addressed the issue in a creative and unique way. So props to Miss Keys! If readers want to learn more about her poetry book or are interested in purchasing it, visit here. -MinM