Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Of Words and Lines

If you're looking for a book of poetry to read, I cannot recommend Naomi Shihab Nye's You & Yours highly enough. Nye combines her love of language with her love of people, and the result is a collection that will make you smile even as your eyes mist with tears. Born of an American mother and a Palestinian father, Nye's poetry weaves together these two worlds, seeing the simple beauty of both and allowing her readers to share her vision. Always respectful of human dignity, her poems are full of righteous anger at a world who sees political ideas and actions apart from the people those actions devastate. What is so remarkable about Nye's work is that, although her indignation at "man's inhumanity to man" is achingly clear, it never controls her poetry or hides her beautiful spirit.

A few lines to whet your appetite:

from "Last August Hours before the Year 2000":

"What better blessing than to move without hurry
under trees?"

from "Don Chu Go": "Don chu go talking bout the sunrise
purty pinky sunrise
as if they ain't all kinda people
suffrin evry corner a this world."

from "I Feel Sorry for Jesus": "It's dangerous talking for Jesus.
You get carried away almost immediately."

See what I mean? I hope you can't resist.


Two favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity:

"When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house."

"God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of any other slackers."


From Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns:

"On the bus ride home from the doctor, the strangest thing was happening to Mariam. Everywhere she looked, she saw bright colors . . . It was as though a rainbow had melted into her eyes."

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