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19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East Paperback – March 15, 2005
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As she grieved over the "huge shadow [that] had been cast across the lives of so many innocent people and an ancient culture's pride" after September 11, 2001, poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye's natural response was to write, to grasp "onto details to stay afloat." Accordingly, Nye has gathered over four dozen of her own poems about the Middle East and about being an Arab American living in the United States. Devoted followers of the award-winning and beloved poet will recognize some of their favorites from her earlier collections (The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East, etc.), while absorbing themselves in her new haunting and evocative poems. Nye writes of figs and olives, fathers' blessings and grandmothers' hands that "recognize grapes, / and the damp shine of a goat's new skin." She writes of Palestinians, living and dead, of war, and of peace. Readers of all ages will be profoundly moved by the vitality and hope in these beautiful lines from Nye's heart. (Ages 9 to adult) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Beginning with a work inspired by the events of September 11, Naomi Shihab Nye brings together 60 of her poems in 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East including "Different Ways to Pray," "The Palestinians Have Given Up Parties" and "Football." Many of the poems, which focus on the Middle East and the Arab-American experience, have appeared in previous collections; others are published here for the first time. An excellent way to invite exploration and discussion of events far away and their impact here at home.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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When Americans think of the Middle East, we often think only of the hatred and violence of terrorism. It is important, therefore, to read poetry by writers like Nye, who help us to remember that there is love, generosity and beauty to be found there too. Her poems have a beautiful simplicity and loving honesty that can speak to both children and adults.
I especially connected to the poems Nye wrote about the members of her family, such as "For Mohammed on the Mountain" and "My Grandmother in the Stars". The poem about her uncle inspired me to write about family members I hardly know or have never met. Reading Naomi Shihab Nye's poetry reminded me of the great wealth we all have of places and people who are especially deep in our hearts--a richness unique to our own experience that can be a wonderful source of writing material.
Nye is a shining example of a writer who uses her gift to promote a message of peace and understanding in a world stained with fear, hate and close-mindedness.
I have preformed four or five of the poems in this book at competitions, and one of the things I love is that, for the most part, all her poems were originally in English. So you get to see and preform the simple beauty in the words along with the meaning. This is lost in other poets, such as Yehudah Amichai or Mahmoud Darwish, who originally wrote in Hebrew/Arabic.
Just a note for anyone who cares: there's a beautiful poem called "Jerusalem" in this book that's also published all over the internet. If you buy "Words under Words," she has another poem called "Jerusalem," but it's a TOTALLY different poem. Still a good collection though :]
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