About the Author:Naomi Shihab Nye has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, the I. B. Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, and four Pushcart Prizes, as well as numerous honors for her books for younger readers, including tow Jane Addams Children's Book Awards. She is the editor of the poetry anthologies The Space Between Our Footsteps, Poems & Paintings from the Middle East, What Have You Lost?, and This Same Sky and the author of Habibi, a novel, as well as the picture book Sitti's Secrets. Naomi Shihab Nye lives in San Antonio, TX.
About the Author
Naomi Shihab Nye is a poet and anthologist and the acclaimed author of Habibi: A Novel and Sitti's Secrets, a picture book, which was based on her own experiences visiting her beloved Sitti in Palestine. Her book 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has taught writing and worked in schools all over the world, including in Muscat, Oman. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.
Read an Excerpt
A man letters the sign for his grocery in Arabic and English.
Paint dried more quickly in English.
The thick swoops and curls of Arabic letters stay moist
and glistening til tomorrow when the children show up
jingling their dimes.
They have learned the currency of the New World,
carrying wishes for gum and candies shaped like fish.
They float through the streets, diving deep to the bottom,
nosing rich layers of crusted shell.
One of these children will tell a story that keeps her people
alive. We don't know yet which one she is.
Girl in the red sweater dangling a book bag,
sister with eyes pinned to the barrel of pumpkin seeds.
They are lettering the sidewalk with their steps.
They are separate and together and a little bit late.
Carrying a creased note, "Don't forget."
Who wrote it? They've already forgotten.
A purple fish sticks to the back of the throat.
Their long laughs are boats they will ride and ride,
making the shadows that cross each other's smiles.
Naomi Shihab Nye
Table of Contents
|Different Ways to Pray||3|
|My Father and the Figtree||6|
|What Kind of Fool Am I?||8|
|Going to the Spring||9|
|Biography of an Armenian Schoolgirl||11|
|The Words Under the Words||14|
|The Man Who Makes Brooms||18|
|The Garden of Abu Mahmoud||20|
|The Clean Rinse||24|
|For Mohammed on the Mountain||25|
|Passing the Refugee Camp||30|
|Lunch in Nablus City Park||35|
|Prayer in My Boot||44|
|Things Don't Stop||46|
|Even at War||50|
|The Grieving Ring||51|
|For the 500th Dead Palestinian, Ibtisam Bozieh||53|
|Those Whom We Do Not Know||55|
|The Palestinians Have Given Up Parties||59|
|The Small Vases from Hebron||63|
|My Grandmother in the Stars||69|
|Praying for Wind||73|
|They Dropped It||83|
|19 Varieties of Gazelle||87|
|My Uncle's Favorite Coffee Shop||99|
|A Definite Shore||102|
|The Many Hats of William Yale||106|
|What News Are You Listening To?||108|
|The Address Book of a Lonely Man||112|
|Trenches and Moats and Mounds of Dirt||117|
|What He Said to His Enemies||119|
|How Long Peace Takes||122|
|A Single Slice Reveals Them||124|
|Jerusalem Headlines 2000||128|
|Mr. Dajani, Calling from Jericho||130|
|All Things Not Considered||133|