19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

by Naomi Shihab Nye

Hardcover(1 ED)

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Naomi Shihab Nye has been writing about the Middle East al of her life. Her father is Palestinian, her mother German-American, and her poetry is born of a childhood spent with a foot in both worlds, growing up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. This volume collects for the first time in one place all of Naomi Shihab Nye's poems about the Middle East, about peace, about being an Arab-American in the United States. You will find familiar poems here, poems that Nye's readers have cherished for years, as well as new poems being published for the first time. Nourishing, haunting, and hopeful—here is a timeless and necessary book. Includes and introduction by the poet and a frontispiece by photographer Michael Nye.
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060097653
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/16/2002
Edition description: 1 ED
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 591,879
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.12(h) x 0.65(d)
Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 9 Years

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

Section 11
Different Ways to Pray3
My Father and the Figtree6
What Kind of Fool Am I?8
Going to the Spring9
Biography of an Armenian Schoolgirl11
The Words Under the Words14
The Man Who Makes Brooms18
The Garden of Abu Mahmoud20
Her Way22
The Clean Rinse24
For Mohammed on the Mountain25
Passing the Refugee Camp30
Lunch in Nablus City Park35
Arabic Coffee38
Red Brocade40
Prayer in My Boot44
Things Don't Stop46
Even at War50
The Grieving Ring51
For the 500th Dead Palestinian, Ibtisam Bozieh53
Those Whom We Do Not Know55
The Palestinians Have Given Up Parties59
The Small Vases from Hebron63
My Grandmother in the Stars69
Praying for Wind73
Olive Jar80
They Dropped It83
Section 285
19 Varieties of Gazelle87
Holy Land94
My Uncle's Favorite Coffee Shop99
A Definite Shore102
Two Countries104
The Tray105
The Many Hats of William Yale106
What News Are You Listening To?108
Staying Close109
The Address Book of a Lonely Man112
Trenches and Moats and Mounds of Dirt117
What He Said to His Enemies119
How Long Peace Takes122
A Single Slice Reveals Them124
Stone House125
Jerusalem Headlines 2000128
Mr. Dajani, Calling from Jericho130
All Things Not Considered133

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