Monday, April 30, 2018

NPM 2018: Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners

National Poetry Month 2018
"Give praise with friends near and far,
flinging words to the sky!"
- Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

I had big plans to finish Voices in the Air:  Poems for Listeners  by Naomi Shihab Nye before I attended the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture on Saturday evening at Western University. But I failed. April is way too busy! However, I sat down and finished the book this morning. I'll share my thoughts about the lecture for Poetry Friday's post.

Today, I want to share some of the nuggets, the word gifts I love from this book. Maybe they will entice you to purchase your own copy so you can read the rest of the poem/book. I checked it out from the library, but this is a book that I want to own.

"This sequence of ninety-five poems pays tribute to the essential voices past and present that have the power to provoke us, lead us, and give us hope.
Slow down. 
Turn the page.
(from the inside book flap)

Do not skip the introduction to this book. It's five pages of lovely writing before you dive into the three major sections of the book -
Messages, Voices in the Air, and More Worlds.

And here are some of the word gifts I collected from the book:

"Peonies       in a house
         profoundly uplift          the house
never say no   to peonies"
(from "Time's Low Note")

Voices in the Air 
"Who can help us?
     Yellow beam
           spiral sunshine
(from "For Aziz")

"Words finding friends
   even if written on envelope flaps
   or left in a drawer."
(from "Emily")

More Worlds
"Be brave
  Little things
  Still matter most"
(from "Anti-Inaugural")

And finally an excerpt from the poem "Woven by Air, Texture of Air" as featured on the back cover of the book:
                                  " . . . And sing, sing freely,
   never let anything get in the way of your singing,"

1 comment:

  1. I do own the book, sad to say I have not opened it yet. I started still another poetry collection, so. . . What a fitting ending to the month, with Nye's new book. It looks like it holds many words we will want to keep! Thanks, Ramona, and Happy May!