Naomi Shihab Nye
a poet, songwriter, and novelist. She was born to a Palestinian father and American mother. Although she regards herself as a "wandering poet", she refers to San Antonio as her home.
Her first collection of poems, Different Ways to Pray, explored the theme of similarities and differences between cultures, which would become one of her lifelong areas of focus. Her other books include poetry collections 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, A Maze Me, Red Suitcase, Field Trip and Fuel; a collection of essays entitled Never in a Hurry; a young-adult novel called Habibi (the semi-autobiographical story of an Arab-American teenager who moves to ... more »
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Naomi Shihab Nye Poems
Making A Fist
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
Skin remembers how long the years grow when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel of singleness, feather lost from the tail of a bird, swirling onto a step,
"A true Arab knows how to catch a fly in his hands," my father would say. And he'd prove it, cupping the buzzer instantly while the host with the swatter stared.
If you place a fern under a stone the next day it will be nearly invisible
You can't be, says a Palestinian Christian on the first feast day after Ramadan. So, half-and-half and half-and-half. He sells glass. He knows about broken bits,
A man leaves the world and the streets he lived on grow a little shorter.
Sewing, Knitting, Crocheting...
A small striped sleeve in her lap, navy and white, needles carefully whipping in yarn from two sides.
The Art of Disappearing
When they say Don't I know you? say no.
So Much Happiness
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness. With sadness there is something to rub against, a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
The river is famous to the fish. The loud voice is famous to silence, which knew it would inherit the earth before anybody said so.
Hugging the Jukebox
On an island the soft hue of memory, moss green, kerosene yellow, drifting, mingling in the Caribbean Sea, a six-year-old named Alfred
A man crosses the street in rain, stepping gently, looking two times north and south, because his son is asleep on his shoulder.
Different Ways to Pray
There was the method of kneeling, a fine method, if you lived in a country where stones were smooth.
Boy and Egg
Every few minutes, he wants to march the trail of flattened rye grass back to the house of muttering hens. He too could make
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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Edgar Allan Poe
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Making A Fist
We forget that we are all dead men conversing wtih dead men.
—Jorge Luis Borges
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 ...