Words Under the Words: Selected Poems

by Naomi Shihab Nye

Paper Book, 1995






Portland, Or. : Eighth Mountain Press, 1995.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Erin_Boyington
My VOYA: 4Q, 3P

I read:
"Negotiations with a Volcano" - a lovely poem about human vulnerability, and the ways we attempt to bargain in the face of an indifferent power.
"Remembered" - I would compare the theme of this poem to Shelley's sonnet "Ozymandias". A man gives away his possessions in the possibly futile hope of being remembered after his death.
"The Whole Self" - A meditation on selfhood and the ways we define it - and attempt to escape it.
"Grandfather's Heaven" - Remembering her grandfather's two-dimensional ("up or down") view of religion, very different from her own.
"The Little Brother Poem" - Memories of a difficult relationship with an absent brother.
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LibraryThing member breeankay
4Q, 3P
Nye's poetry ties together multiple cultures with our shared human experience. Maybe its easy to be critical of poetry because of its inaccessibility but Nye's poems are remarkably accessible and I'd like to think there is something for everyone here (including teens). I especially like the longer poems that tell stories. Some of my favorites are "The Words Under the Words", "French Movies", and "One Island". (Hard to pick just a few).… (more)
LibraryThing member Thea-Ploetz
Words Under the Words: Selected Poems brings together poems from three of Naomi Nye’s previous collections. Nye’s poems take readers on the journey from regret to overflowing happiness to celebration of cultural identity. The entire range of human emotions seems to be in the words under these words. Perhaps what resonates most is Nye’s ability to take what many would perceive as ordinary, uninspiring moments, and amplify them to reveal emotional and metaphorical significance. In “Trying to Name What Doesn’t Change,” Nye takes an idle conversation about the arrival of a train and turns it into a reflection on change and contextual significance. This set of poetry might appeal to teens interested in poems with a blend of lyric and narrative content, as well as an examination of some of the heavier topics teens are learning to grapple with.

4P, 5Q
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LibraryThing member JudyCroome
Beautiful lyrical poems about a range of topics, many filled with a mysterious poignancy that clutches at the emotions even if the meaning is somewhat obscure at times. These poems entice one to read them again and again. They hint at secrets waiting to be unearthed from the rich words they're planted in.

A worthwhile collection from Palestinian-American poet Naomi Nye.… (more)



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