Naomi Shihab Nye

(12 March 1952 / St. Louis, Missouri)

Loving Working - Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

"We clean to give space for Art."
Micaela Miranda, Freedom Theatre, Palestine

Work was a shining refuge when wind sank its tooth
into my mind. Everything we love is going away,
drifting - but you could sweep this stretch of floor,
this patio or porch, gather white stones in a bucket,
rake the patch for future planting, mop the counter
with a rag. Lovely wet gray rag, squeeze it hard
it does so much. Clear the yard of blowing bits of plastic.
The glory in the doing. The breath of the doing.
Sometimes the simplest move kept fear from
fragmenting into no energy at all, or sorrow from
multiplying, or sorrow from being the only person
living in the house.


Comments about Loving Working by Naomi Shihab Nye

  • (4/28/2018 7:54:00 PM)


    Work comes to rescue when nothing else is left. Great poem. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Adrian Flett (4/28/2018 6:19:00 AM)


    'the simplest move kept fear from fragmenting' resonated with the aloneness. I liked the rhythm of the lines working with the mundane tasks and leading to the last lines. Thanks for the journey. Adrian (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (4/28/2018 6:01:00 AM)


    Beautifully presented. Thanks and congratulations for being selected this poem as the poem of the day. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (4/28/2018 3:02:00 AM)


    The more I read this poem the more I like it- - there really are layers to this piece. I think she would be worthwhile to read more from- she is elusive in some ways yet forthright in others. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (4/28/2018 1:44:00 AM)


    Such an interesting write👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (4/28/2018 1:33:00 AM)


    Lovely wet gray rag!

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
    (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (4/28/2018 12:47:00 AM)


    Not a poem of excellence for this category. (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 23, 2016



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