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List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography Presentation by Leah Hermanson.

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1 List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography Presentation by Leah Hermanson

2 BIOGRAPHY Naomi Shihab Nye – The Wandering Poet “In the current literary scene, one of the most heartening influences is the work of Naomi Shihab Nye. Her poems combine transcendent liveliness and sparkle along with warmth and human insight. She is a champion of the literature of encouragement and heart. Reading her work enhances life (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Steven Barclay Agency).” In this quote the famous poet, William Strafford, commends Nye for her ability to not only touch, but to influence the lives of others. Naomi Shihab Nye was born on March 12, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her dad, Aziz Shihab, was a Palestinian refugee, and her mother, Miriam Naomi Allwardt, was born American. During her childhood, she lived in St. Louis, Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Poets.org). She currently lives with her husband, Michael Nye, and their son, Madison, in San Antonio (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, eNotes.com). She is known as a “wandering poet” for her interest in traveling around the world teaching workshops on writing and inspiring children to write. She has traveled around the country for over 33 years (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Peace Heroes). Nye’s upbringing of List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

3 diverse cultures has played an important role in her work and also on her perspective of life. Nye started writing poems when she was only six years old. From reading books to watching Carl Sandburg on television, she grew to love writing (“Interview With Naomi Shihab Nye”). Listening to her mother read to her was the most influential factor resulting in Nye’s desire and passion to write. By the time she was 7, she had already published her first poems in a magazine (“Kindness”). She continued writing all through her school years and eventually graduated from Trinity University in While attending college, she received her BA in world religions and English (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Poetry Foundation). Since then, Nye has accepted numerous awards for her works including four Pushcart Prizes, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and many others. She has also earned several fellowships including a Lannan Fellow, a Guddenhein Fellow ( ) and a Witter Bynner Fellow (2000) (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Steven Barclay Agency). In 1997, she received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Novelguide.com). In 2010, she was appointed Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Poets.org). Some of Nye’s work resembles the poetry of Gary Snyder, Wallace BIOGRAPHY (CONT) List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

4 Stevens, and her mentor, William Stafford (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Poetry Foundation). The majority of her work is a reflection of her own warmth and human insight which expresses the uniqueness of her poetry that also impacts the lives of others. There are many factors that make Naomi Nye’s poetry unique. She is known for poetry that gives the reader a fresh introduction to the average person and their day to day life (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Poetry Foundation). Her worldly concerns are shown throughout her works. Much of her work reflects her desire for cultural peace. She also acquires the ability to change everyday images into passionate observations (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Peace Heroes). Most of Nye’s poems are written in free verse (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Poetry Foundation). They contain many poetic devices including imagery, figurative language, and sound devices. Because of her varying cultures and upbringing, her poems often contain the apprehension of Palestinian life. Through her poetry, Nye shares the good that people do for others. She sees problems in this world that most don’t, and what she desires most is peace and equality. With her poetry, she has touched the lives of many people including The Grand Rapids Press who expressed, “Naomi Shihab Nye breathes poetry like the rest of us breathe air. When she exhales, the world becomes different. Better (“Naomi Shihab Nye”, Steven Barclay Agency).” BIOGRAPHY (CONT) List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

5  Different Ways to Pray  On the Edge of the Sky  Hugging the Jukebox  Yellow Glove  Invisible  Mint  Red Suitcase  Words under the Words: Selected Poems  Fuel  Mint Snowball  You and Yours  This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from around the World  The Tree Is Older Than You Are: Poems and Stories from Mexico  I Feel a Little Jumpy around You  The Space between Our Footsteps  What Have You Lost? LIST OF WORKS Further Collection of Poems List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

6 ANALYSIS POEM Analysis of So Much Happiness So Much Happiness by Naomi Shihab Nye It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness. With sadness there is something to rub against, a wound to tend with lotion and cloth. When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up, something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change. But happiness floats. It doesn’t need to hold it down. It doesn’t need anything. Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing, and disappears when it want to. You are happy either way. Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house and now live over a quarry of dust and noise cannot make you unhappy. Everything has a life of its own, it too could wake up filled with possibilities of coffee cake and ripe peaches, and love even the floor which needs to be swept, the soiled linens and scratched records… Since there is no place large enough to contain so much happiness, you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you into everything you touch. You are not responsible. You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it, and in that way, be known. List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

7 Naomi Shihab Nye has written many marvelous poems including, “So Much Happiness”, which uses imagery to create spectacular vivid descriptions. This poem describes the sheer joy of happiness. Nye also illustrates how the amount of happiness a person can contain is limitless. An example of imagery is shown in the lines, “With sadness there is something to rub against/ A wound to tend with lotion and cloth/ When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up/ Something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change”. Nye is demonstrating how sadness can make a person stronger. She makes the reader imagine sadness like having a wound. A person must care for it and make it healthy again. Another example of imagery is in the lines, “Since there is no place large enough/ to contain so much happiness/ You shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you/ Into everything you touch/ You are not responsible. In these lines, Nye shows how someone can have so much happiness that a large room can’t even contain it. Also, she expresses how a person’s happiness can and should be expanded everywhere and to everyone. Nye uses the poetic element imagery in a very effective way throughout this poem. She takes ordinary objects and words, and adds beautiful descriptions to them to make this poem come alive. With Naomi Shihab Nye’s great use of imagery, the poem, “So Much Happiness”, allows readers to experience the delightful images Nye has recreated to portray a person’s happiness in the world. ANALYSIS List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

8 Changed, by Naomi Shihab Nye, is a remarkable poem that shows how a person going through hard times can change and discover things they never recognized; therefore, becoming a new and better person. I really like the lines, “My eyes started seeing through things/ like gauze/ old self through new self/ my flexible body/ went backwards/ and forwards/ in time. Nye used wonderful description to really show how a person can change for the better. Seeing their old self and transforming into someone even better. SAMPLE POEMS Changed by Naomi Shihab Nye They said something mean about me and didn’t notice it was mean. So my heart wandered into the rainy night without them and found a canopy to hide under. My eyes started seeing through things. Like gauze. Old self through new self. My flexible body went backwards and forwards in time. It’s hard to describe but true: I grew another head with better ideas inside my old head. List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

9 Naomi Shihab Nye’s famous poem, Shoulders, tells the story of a man looking after his son with great care. I really enjoy the lines, “We’re not going to be able/ to live in this world/ if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing/ with one another/ The road will only be wide/ The rain will never stop falling.” I chose this poem because these powerful lines explain how no one will make it in this world if we do not act as the man did; kind, caring, and loving. Nye uses rain to symbolize hate. The hate and crime will never stop unless we love and care for one another. SAMPLE POEMS Shoulders by Naomi Shihab Nye A man crosses the street in rain, stepping gently, looking two times north and south, because his son is asleep on his shoulder. No car must splash him. No car drive too near to his shadow. This man carries the world’s most sensitive cargo but he’s not marked. Nowhere does his jacket say FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE. His ear fills up with breathing. He hears the hum of a boy’s dream deep inside him. We’re not going to be able to live in this world if we’re not willing to do what he’s doing with one another. The road will only be wide. The rain will never stop falling. List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

10 INSPIRED POEMS Famous by Naomi Shihab Nye The river is famous to the fish. The loud voice is famous to silence, which knew it would inherit the earth before anybody said so. The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds watching him from the birdhouse. The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek. The idea you carry close to your bosom Is famous to your bosom. The boot is famous to the earth, more famous than the dress shoe, which is famous only to floors. The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it and not at all famous to the one who is pictured. I want to be famous to shuffling men who smile while crossing streets, sticky children in grocery lines, famous as the one who smiled back. I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous, or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular, but because it never forgot what it could do. Leah Hermanson’s poem inspired by Famous List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

11 INSPIRED POEM Famous by Leah Hermanson The playground is famous to the kids. The smile is famous to the face which loves the sight of another. The stars are famous to the night giving light to those in the darkness. The sand is famous to the feet stuck between ones toes, running along the shore. The closet is famous to the clothes hanging neatly inside but not at all famous to the clutter of shoes beneath. I want to be famous like a dog is famous to its owner genuine, loving, and always there for you. List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

12 INSPIRED POEMS Streets by Naomi Shihab Nye A man leaves the world and the streets he lived on grow a little shorter. One more window dark in this city, the figs on his branches will soften for birds. If we stand quietly enough evenings there grows a whole company of us standing quietly together. overhead loud grackles are claiming their trees and the sky which sews and sews, tirelessly sewing, drops her purple hem. Each thing in its time, in its place, it would be nice to think the same about people. Some people do. They sleep completely, walking refreshed. Others live in two worlds, the lost and remembered. They sleep twice, once for the one who is gone, once for themselves. They dream thickly, dream double, they wake from a dream into another one, they walk to short streets calling out names, and then they answer. Leah Hermanson’s poem inspired by Streets List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

13 INSPIRED POEMS Faithful Companion by Leah Hermanson A dog leaves the world and the house he lived in grows a little quieter. The excitement of coming home perishes, the desire to see the joyful face of a friend. Yearning for a paw at the door, to show he is lonesome, the slobbery lick when you arrive, the thumping of his tail on the wood floor, the comfort and protection felt while near him. Sadness displayed throughout the house. Most try to hid it, the tribulation is immense. Searching for an outlet to escape from this sorrow. With time the sadness fades, overtaken by the endless memories of a faithful companion. List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

14 ORIGINAL POEMS The Race by Leah Hermanson Hundreds line up sweat dripping down their foreheads legs shaking with nerves two minutes remaining. Gun raises anxious faces surround me almost time to begin. Gun fires like an unexpected firecracker exhilaration starting to emerge only two miles to go. Many say running isn't a sport it’s easy, anyone can do it. Yet, running take toughness. Physical and mental, strength and determination, the desire to finish, and the passion to never give up. And for those brief twenty minutes, although exhausted and out of breath, I have no worries. Because when I’m running all my problems seem far away. List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

15 ORIGINAL POEMS Summer by Leah Hermanson Blue skies of summer calm a time to relax and wear cherry lip balm. No more school just hanging with friends out late having bonfires ‘til the summer night ends. Clothed in a white t-shit and worn out jean shorts running around shoeless all night while enjoying a good old water fight. Having a cold glass of pink lemonade and eating chocolate chip ice cream summer is like a dream. List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

16 ORIGINAL POEMS Courage by Leah Hermanson A summer’s night flash of plain fear sweat gathering. Sullen-looking, sleepy-eyed men consumed with the smell of stale whisky. Unfunny situation sense of futility unacknowledged by a chance acquaintance trying to be polite. In view of his prospects attention amounted in fascination quite still, faces equally impassive. Doors slammed engines coughed they were gone. List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

17 Biography research websites BIBLIOGRAPHY List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography

18 Pictures Picture of Nye on Biography Picture on first inspired poem page Picture on first original poem page Picture on second original poem page Picture on second inspired poem page Picture on analysis poem page Picture on third original poem page Picture on second sample poem page GlueProcedur.jpg Pictures on list of works page BIBLIOGRAPHY (CONT) List of WorksSample Poems Inspired Poems Original PoemsBibliographyBiography


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