Naomi Shihab Nye

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nekot
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Naomi Shihab Nye

Post by nekot » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:49 am

anthology
1640, from L. anthologia, from Gk. anthologia "flower-gathering," from anthos "a flower" (see anther) + logia "collection, collecting," from legein "gather" (see lecture). Modern sense (which emerged in Late Gk.) is metaphoric, "flowers" of verse, small poems by various writers gathered together.

An anthology is a collection of writings, usually revolving around a theme, by different authors or the same author. I found the etymology of anthology quite beautiful. Hmmm....thinking about it, Poetry Pages is like a garden. :grin:

During my tenure as poet laureate, I'd like to feature poems by people from different cultures, faiths, beliefs. How far I'll get is yet to be seen. :wink: I'll do my best to dig out the context in which the poems were written.

Scroll down to read "Making a Fist" and "Famous" by Naomi Shihab Nye. Enjoy!!

:hello:

Cheers,
~carol

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nekot
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Re: Naomi Shihab Nye

Post by nekot » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:54 am

Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit. About her work, the poet William Stafford has said, "her poems combine transcendent liveliness and sparkle along with warmth and human insight. She is a champion of the literature of encouragement and heart. Reading her work enhances life." ~Poets.org

Read more here: Naomi Shihab Nye // The Poetic World of Naomi Shihab Nye

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Hear Naomi's voice, reading: Making a Fist

Making a Fist
by Naomi Shihab Nye

For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.

"How do you know if you are going to die?"
I begged my mother.
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered,
"When you can no longer make a fist."

Years later I smile to think of that journey,
the borders we must cross separately,
stamped with our unanswerable woes.
I who did not die, who am still living,
still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,
clenching and opening one small hand.

***************************************

Famous
by Naomi Shihab Nye

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to the silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it,
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to shuffling men,
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it did.

************************************

Interviews:

The act of writing itself often leads us into thinking in a larger, more universal way, after focusing on or breathing with, beginning with, something grounded and close. A poem "blurs" into that larger space of being on its own, if it is lucky. There is often a little "click" or "shiver" in a poet’s mind, I think, when an experience or a perception begins opening up into something larger – one can feel this DURING the act of writing, sometimes, or sometimes just as thoughts and images are gathering in the mind. Sometimes there is an impulse of something large first but we have no idea what it is until we begin writing through the scene itself, the details at hand.

Read it here: http://tinyurl.com/3b36dr A Conversation With Naomi Shihab Nye: Interview by Meg Kavanagh

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It is crucial to make one's own writing circle – friends, either close or far, with whom you trade work and discuss it – as a kind of support system, place-of-conversation and energy. Find those people, even a few, with whom you can share and discuss your works – then do it. Keep the papers flowing among you. Work does not get into the world by itself. We must help it. Share the names of books that have nourished you. I love Writing Toward Home by Georgia Heard, for example. William Stafford's three books of essays on the subject of writing – Crossing Unmarked Snow is the most recent – all from the Poets on Poetry series of the University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor – are invaluable. I love so many of these new anthologies that keep popping up. Let that circle be sustenance.

There is so much goodness happening in the world of writing today. And there is plenty of ROOM and appetite for new writers. I think there always was. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Attend all the readings you can, and get involved in giving some, if you like to do that. Be part of your own writing community. Often the first step in doing this is simply to let yourself become identified as One Who Cares About Writing!

My motto early on was "Rest and be kind, you don't have to prove anything" – Jack Kerouac's advice about writing – I still think it's true.


Read it here: Interview with Naomi Shihab Nye: by Rachel Barenblat

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Link: Michael Nye - Photography
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