A poet whose work I enjoy is Naomi Shihab Nye. Nye is an American poet whose father was a Palestinian refugeee and whose mother is an American of Swiss and German descent. Naomi spent her teen-aged years in both Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. Her experience with these different cultures has had a definite impact on her work. She has been characterized by Jane Tanner, in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, describes Nye as “international in scope and internal in focus.” I was fortunate to hear her read poetry at a local independent book store many years ago. I have an autographed copy of her book Words Under Words. Please read more about her here in this article by the Poetry Foundation!
I don’t feel comfortable sharing her poetry here, as she is still living (born in 1952) and still writing; and I don’t want to infringe on copyright. One of my favorite poems by her is the poem “Famous.” Some of you may have seen this one, and I almost thought of using THIS poem to launch a prompt from. I decided against this one, but if you read it you will see what a unique poem it is! I really like her poem “Making a Fist” too. Please take a look at both if you have time!
So, you may be wondering just what IS the prompt! I will tell you! (Smiles) I want you to read the poem “Burning the Old Year.” Take a look at the LINES of the poem. I want you to choose ONE of the lines & use it as a line in your own newly written poem. Whether you use ‘transparent scarlet paper,’ ‘so little is a stone,’ ‘only the things I didn’t do,’ or any of the other wonderful lines, be sure to give a little credit to Naomi Shihab Nye. And, of course, link back to dVerse Poetics!
I think it will be great fun to see which lines people choose from “Burning the Old Year,”how they are incorporated into a new poem. I hope you will find this prompt enjoyable. I will look forward to reading your poems!
Before I end, I want to share this video that was published on September 29,2015. Naomi Shihab Nye shares what inspires her poetry. I think you will be able to see the kind of person she is from this video, that it will give you a sense of the woman behind the poem. Please watch.
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