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Naomi Shihab Nye

Poetry Project
by

Lilly Fang

on 23 May 2011

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Transcript of Naomi Shihab Nye

Lilly Fang
Josephine Gurch
Kimia Hashemi-Nejad
Joanne Kim Her philosophy of life is that she believes that the Middle East should have peace. Her poems bring a humanitarian spirit to the complex conflict of Israel and Palestine. Her poems also show insight on the Middle East's rich history and culture. Famous
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 you bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is only to the floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all 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. San Antonio

Tonight I lingered over your name,
the delicate assembly of vowels
a voice inside my head.
You were sleeping when I arrived.
I stood by your bed
and watched the sheets rise gently.
I knew what slant of light
would make you turn over.
It was then I felt
the highways slide out of my hands.
I remembered the old men
in the west side cafe,
dealing with dominoes like magical charms.
It was then I knew,
like a woman looking backward,
I could not leave you,
or find anyone I loved more. Naomi is most known for her poems about the Middle East. A few popular poems written by her are "Fuel", "Red Suitcase", "Hugging the Jukebox", and many more. TP-CASTT Analysis of "San Antonio":
Title- I think this poem will be about San Antonio

Paraphrase- Tonight, I thought about your name, a delicate combination of vowels, a voice inside my head. You were sleeping when I arrived. I stood by your bed, and watched your sheets rise. I knew what would make you turn. It was then I felt the highways leave me. I remembered the old men in the west side cafe gambling with dominoes. It was then I knew,

Connnotation- "or find anyone I loved more". This is a hyperbole becasue it's exaggerating her love for the city. The effect is that it makes the poet's point come across easier. "I stood by you bed and watched the sheets rise gently". This symbolizes the poet being in San Antonio watching the sun rise up in the sky.

Attitude- The poet seems very curious about her new place . She seems to look around the city before she absorbs the beauty of San Antonio. "I could not leave you, or find anyone I loved more". This feeling shows that she's very positive of living in San Antonio.

Shifts- 1 shift is the line "it was then I knew". The purpose of this was to show that after she was showing curiosity about San Antonio, she decided that it was the place she was going to live. It had a very dramatic effect because in a way, that was when she announced that San Antonio would be her home.

Title- The title gives new insight of how much the poet loves San Antonio. It's the place she's describing and wants to live. She loves it so much that she'll never leave another city for it.

Theme- The poet is saying that even though you're in a new, strange place, you can still find yourself there. Naomi Shihab Nye The Words Under the Words

My grandmother's hands recognize grapes,
the damp shine of a goat's new skin.
When I was sick they followed me,
I woke from the long fever to find them
covering my head like cool prayers.

My grandmother's days are made of bread,
a round pat-pat and the slow baking.
She waits by the oven watching a strange car
circle the streets. Maybe it holds her son,
lost to America. More often, tourists,
who kneel and weep at mysterious shrines.
She knows how often mail arrives,
how rarely there is a letter.
When one comes, she announces it, a miracle,
listening to it read again and again
in the dim evening light.

My grandmother's voice says nothing can surprise her.
Take her the shotgun wound and the crippled baby.
She knows the spaces we travel through,
the messages we cannot send—our voices are short
and would get lost on the journey.
Farewell to the husband's coat,
the ones she has loved and nourished,
who fly from her like seeds into a deep sky.
They will plant themselves. We will all die.

My grandmother's eyes say Allah is everywhere, even in death.
When she talks of the orchard and the new olive press,
when she tells the stories of Joha and his foolish wisdoms,
He is her first thought, what she really thinks of is His name.
"Answer, if you hear the words under the words—
otherwise it is just a world with a lot of rough edges,
difficult to get through, and our pockets full of stones." Streets

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,
waking 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 the short streets
calling out names, and then they answer. TP-CASTT Analysis of "Famous":
Title- The title "Famous" probably hints that this poem is about fame and recognition.

Paraphrase- The river is similar to the fish...
The loud voice stands out in the silence
Which would fill the Earth
without a doubt
The cat sleeping on the fence is well known to the birds
who cautiously watch from the birdhouse
The tear is familiar to the cheek while it briefly curses down
The boot is familiar with the ground
more so than the dress shoe
which is used seldomly
The old picture is prized by the holder
but not at all by the one in the picture.
I want to be famous to the people all around me,
to the kids in grocery lines, to be as famous as the kid who smiles back.
I want to be as famous as a small, useful tool, not because it did something spectacular, but because it was always there.

Connotation- This poem is not very formal in speech. It is simple and easy to understand. There is no rhymed scheme; it is written in free verse. There isn't much rhythm either, nor many literary devices for that matter. Imagery is pretty much the only literary device used in "Famous". It is told in first person point of view.

Attitude- The attitude of this poem is a feeling of want for understanding. The poet puts her words simply in order for the reader to be able to dearly understand her point. She also uses imagery for the reader to be able to picture instances that relate to her main point. Eventually these all add up and reveal what the poet wants the reader to understand.

Shifts- Throughout most of the poem, the poet uses everyday things to establish the fact that everything is famous in its own way. In the last two stanzas, however, the poet focuses on herself and how she would like to be famous. Every stanza is seperated by just a period. The length of the stanzas are not consistant but vary from 1-4 lines

Title- The title seems a bit simple and insignificant, but it stands for what the poet would like to achieve in her lifetime

Theme- The theme of this poem is that anything, however insignificant it may seem, is famous to something/someone. She was born on March 12, 1952 in St. Louis,Missouri. TP-CASTT Analysis of "Streets"

Title-The title streets implies that the poem will be about either a path or a person's place in society.

Paraphrase-A man dies, and all the streets he once lived on are shorter. The city now has 1 more dark window, and figs get softer for birds. If we stand quietly long enough, more people will join us. Gackles are claiming trees, and the sky sews and drops its purple hem. Each thing falls at the right place at the right time. It would be nice if that applied to people as well. And it does for some. They sleep well, and awake happily. Others remorse for their loved ones. They dream doubly, and they call for the loved ones til they answer.

Connotation- The style of this poem a free verse in third person. There is no particular rhyme scheme, however there is symbolism, such as the streets, the sky, and the dreams. There is also an example of personification, when the sky was "tirelessly sewing, [and dropping] her purple hem" An example of oxymoron in this poem includes "the streets he lived on grows a little shorter" because when one is growing, he is usually thought to be getting taller, not shorter.

Attitude- The mood of this poem is seemingly remorseful, as if someone was mourning, but trying to get over it as well. The last stanza gives a feeling of internal conflict in the poem.

Shifts-Often, there are lines that appear shorter than the others. These lines are always ended with a period. This is used to show the end of an idea. The poem also has 4 stanzas. The first two stanzas are triplets, and the last two are septets. This is used to separate the scenarios from the emotions associated with it.

Title-Upon reading the poem, it is learned that the title "Streets" indicates the lost one's presence in people's lives. As people die, the streets get shorter.

Theme-Though the theme in this poem is very vague, it is implied that the theme is: It's okay to mourn for a loved one, but don't let it take over your life. Works Cited: "Naomi Shihab Nye." DigiimageOnline. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://digiimageonline.co.cc/2010/12/22/naomi-shihab-nye/>.
"Naomi Shihab Nye." Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/174>.
"Famous." Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21279>.
"San Antonio." Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16732>.
"Streets." Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15680>.
"The Words Under the Words." Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21280>. TP-CASTT Analysis of "The Words Under the Words"

T TITLE I think the title “The Words Under the Words” will probably refer to a message the poet is trying to communicate subtly throughout the poem.

P PARAPHRASE My grandmother’s hands know the touch of grapes and goat skin. When I was sick they knew the touch of my forehead. My grandmother bakes and watches cars, wondering what lies within them. She hardly gets mail and treats a letter like a miracle. My grandmother knows calamity and our lack of fitting words. All she has nourished will die. My grandmother believes Allah is everywhere. She says to speak if you hear the words under the words, otherwise the world is rough and we live weighed down.

C CONNOTATION “to find them [her hands] covering my head like cool prayers” This is a simile that describes the poet’s relief when she felt her grandmother’s cool hands on her head when feeling under the weather. “My grandmother’s days are made of bread…My grandmother’s voice says nothing can surprise her…” Every opening line of a phrase is an example of personification; the poet gives human qualities to her grandmother’s features to tell a story. It is written in free verse and told in first person.

A ATTITUDE The poet uses a combination of objects found in daily life—grapes and bread—and shrewd references to her grandmother’s birthplace and culture—the mysterious car, mysterious shrines, and Allah—to tell her grandmother’s story and create an attitude that is reflective on life and the parts of it that help write our “Words Under the Words”.

S SHIFTS The poet’s approach to the poem is constantly changing.. The first stanza recalls the nurturing role her grandmother played in her life, the next focuses on where she lives and how she makes sense of it, and the last two stanzas take a darker turn in communicating the message that life is short and we must make the words we say count.

T TITLE The title “The Words Under the Words” refers to a piece of advice the poet’s grandmother gave her that is quoted at the end of the poem.

T THEME The theme of this poem is that you must find purpose in the words, people, and places around you and live life with meaning, otherwise your life will be bogged down by uncertainty. the end :)
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