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A political, spiritual Palestinian-American from Texas, Naomi Nye illuminates some of the subtler aspects of human experience in this volume of poems drawn from three previous collections. She ponders everything from the donor of a now-broken music box to a little girl clenching her fist against death, using absolute clarity of imagery and a gentle, authoritative voice to make her visions accessible. She also poses such unanswerable questions as "What makes a man with a gun seem bigger/ than a man with almonds?" -- making it a thought-provoking read.
While Nye's technique is nearly flawless, this is not the mere shaping of superficial little boxes. Lyrically, calmly, she describes an Edenic landscape where "hands are churches that worship the world." Nye is philosophical, yes, but too delighted with her own findings to impose them on a reader. Instead, we find integrity, sincerity, and gentleness: the poet trying to remember who gave her a now-broken music box, the little girl making a fist against death, the woman who can "find holiness in anything/that continues." The poems in the last third of this book focus directly on Nye's Palestinian American heritage, as the poet tours the Mideast, inquisitive and frustrated. Drawn from three previous collections, this selection coincides with the publication of Red Suitcase, a volume of new work (BOA Editions, 1994). All in all, an accomplished writer still searching for a unique voice.
Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Very meaningful writer of this age. I highly suggest this as a reading for someone who is thoughtful about the world and how we all connect.Published 2 months ago by Turtle
Beautiful lyrical poems about a range of topics, many filled with a mysterious poignancy that clutches at the emotions even if the meaning is somewhat obscure at times. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Judy Croome
I love this poet. Very human and very beautiful words that touch you to the core. Highly recommended!Published 14 months ago by Cat
These poems are concise, metaphorical and have a depth not found in most poetry,
they are a poetry lover's dream.
I keep going back to this book and want to share her work with my friends. "The art of disappearing" is an introvert's treasure!Published on July 18, 2013 by Robert Campbell
Poetry must be explored with the heart, the ear, and then the brain. Naomi Shihab Nye's work touched me deeply in all these places.Published on April 23, 2013 by Barbara W. Huntington