Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Naomi Shihab Nye - Driving Back

Driving Back
Naomi Shihab Nye

People do not
           pass away.

They die,
           and then

they stay.

©2013 Naomi Shihab Nye. All rights reserved.

I wanted to mention all the various honors Naomi Shihab Nye has received (multiple Pushcart Prizes, being a Guggenheim Fellow, the 2008 Cybil for Poetry for her book Honeybee) but on some level, I always wonder if that's really necessary... particularly after you've just read Driving Back. I mean... you don't really care about the awards, do you? You just read and that's enough.

I love the way Driving Back conveys so much heart and truth in just 11 words. It's a lesson I constantly have to relearn - brevity, honesty, simplicity, and the right words in the right order are the keys. Luckily, when I need a refresher, I can just turn to the poetry and prose of Naomi Shihab Nye to see all those elements at their best. And whether she's writing for adults or children or novels or standalone poems, she will make you think and feel... which is one reason why I'm so thrilled to have her here today to finish up this year's 30 Poets/30 Days.

Yesterday, Dave Crawley gave us Eye of the Hawk. Tomorrow... a recap of the 2013 edition of 30 Poets/30 Days. Which means it's over! Sigh. It's always a bit sad for me when April comes to an end, though there's much to come here at GottaBook in May and beyond. I hope you stick around to see it... and more than that, I hope your whole year is full of poetry!


reflectionsontheteche said...

What a powerful short poem from one of my favorite poets! I've enjoyed all the poems you have posted. Thanks. I am sad to see April end, too.

tanita davis said...

"...you don't really care about the awards, do you? You just read and that's enough."

When it comes to this poet, EXACTLY. She's like no one else; you don't ever not love anything of hers.

Gloson Teh said...

Amazing poem with a few words. Reminds me of a recent movie I've watched: Saving General Yang. 6 out of 7 sons sacrificed their lives for their father, General Yang, even though he's already dead, to bring his body back to their mother.

Charles Waters said...

I've been a fan of hers for YEARS! 11 words. Wow.