Book: You and Yours:
Author: Naomi Shihab Nye
Edition: 1st Edition, Paperback
Read: August 2009
Rated: 2 out of 5
Why a “2” rating? Is it a bad book? Is this book just not for me? Does Nye not say anything worthwhile? Is poetry not something I get? Is this poetry?
Questions I pose for myself. Poetry sound wonderful to me—being able to express thoughts beyond words on the paper. I just don’t see the depth in most of the 49 poems presented. They seem more words on a page, rather than opening my eyes to something beyond. The thoughts seem more prosaic, along with the words.
So is the problem me or Nye?
One of the two places which somewhat succeed for me was in the poem, Fold. She talks about the proclivity with words, small and little, the diminutive tendency in a world given often to sprawling and big. This reminded me of the lostness those of us have who are pebbles—trying to make small ripples in a big pond.
The other piece I found was in the poem Don Chu Go. Nye says to use your voice, cry of in pain, injustice. While a common thought, it is expressed ragged and well like the thought should be expressed.
The book’s title comes from the poem, During A War. She looks at who “you” and “yours” are. She has received a letter from a friend during a war—I am assuming Iraq or Afiganistan. She asks the question, who is “yours”? Where does “yours” stop? Good questions. There she falls in her responses—this is where either I do not understand or she does not provide something in continuity with the question.
So which is it, she or me?
Notes from my book group:
- Bill Moyers NOW Interview from Oct 11, 2002: http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_nye.html
- Naomi Shihab Nye Letter to a Terrorist: http://godlas.myweb.uga.edu/shihabnye.html
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/You-Yours-American-Poets-Continuum/dp/1929918690
- Publisher’s Site: http://www.boaeditions.org/bookstore/details.php?prodId=188&category=0&secondary=&keywords=