Today’s Little Ditty

Naomi Shihab Nye represents herself as a “wandering poet.” For much of her life she’s traveled the world posting her words, listening to and collecting others in notebooks, discovering, learning, and teaching students of all ages. Most often, we can not change things, but as poets, we can notice. Born to a Palestinian father and an American mom, Naomi grew up in Ferguson, Missouri, Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio still is home foundation, where she is Professor of Creative Writing – Poetry at Texas State University. Drawing from her heritage, travels, and life encounters, her writing is influenced by place and culture strongly, and attests to your shared humanity-her poetry bears us into a more substantial individual experience.

The author and anthologist greater than 30 volumes, Naomi Shihab Nye has written award-winning choices of poetry for adults and children, as well as essays, novels, picture books, and brief stories. Following are some recommendations for young visitors at home or in the classroom. 2015 picture books by Wings Press. If you are already familiar with her work, this will most likely not come as a shock. Naomi Shihab Nye is the type of person who makes friends of strangers and reassures us that we are never alone.

Her latest collection illustrates that point beautifully. Available for purchase at an unbiased bookstore in your area. One thing I really like about Naomi’s poetry choices is that her introductions are as nourishing as the poetry itself. In Voices, she discusses the need to listen better-how to reclaim a quiet, slower pace in our lives in order to become more receptive. Reminding ourselves of what we love feels helpful.

Walking outside-it’s as noiseless as it ever was. The birds communicate with no help from us still. In that deep quietude, doesn’t the environment, and the memory, feel more full of voices? If we slow down and practice hearing intentionally, calming our very own clatter, maybe we better hear those voices.

They go on in us. The 95 poems that follow are structured into three sections: Messages, Voices in the Air, and More Worlds. While I’ve read several of her series, Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners are special if you ask me. Judging by reviews, I’m not the only one who seems that way.

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Full of words of encouragement, solace, and wish, this collection offers a message of empathy and tranquility. This is a book that celebrate inspiration, yes; but for me, Voices in the Air also is also a book of love poems. Not the romantic sort, but poems that honor the deep connection and heartfelt respect for the subjects of the poems.

Sometimes thankful, other times searching, Naomi’s poems are, at all times, mindful interactions with people, places, and occasions that have followed her on her journey thus far. You can also find biographical notes at the back of the book for each person referenced, as well as recommendations for where you might turn for further exploration. As I go through these poems over and over, I find myself linking with Voices on an individual level profoundly. I discovered sources of inspiration that Naomi and I’ve in common, as well as stories and relationships that echo my very own.