19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

Varieties of Gazelle Poems of the Middle East Tell me how to live so many lives at once Fowzi who beats everyone at dominoes Ibtisam who wanted to be a doctor Abu Mahmoud who knows every eggplant and peach in his West Bank garden mysterious Un

  • Title: 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East
  • Author: Naomi Shihab Nye
  • ISBN: 9780060097660
  • Page: 116
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

    Tell me how to live so many lives at once Fowzi, who beats everyone at dominoes Ibtisam, who wanted to be a doctor Abu Mahmoud, who knows every eggplant and peach in his West Bank garden mysterious Uncle Mohammed, who moved to the mountain a girl in a red sweater dangling a book bag children in velvet dresses who haunt the candy bowl at the party Baba Kamalyari, aTell me how to live so many lives at once Fowzi, who beats everyone at dominoes Ibtisam, who wanted to be a doctor Abu Mahmoud, who knows every eggplant and peach in his West Bank garden mysterious Uncle Mohammed, who moved to the mountain a girl in a red sweater dangling a book bag children in velvet dresses who haunt the candy bowl at the party Baba Kamalyari, age 71 Mr Dajani and his swans Sitti Khadra, who never lost her peace inside.Maybe they have something to tell us.Naomi Shihab Nye has been writing about being Arab American, about Jerusalem, about the West Bank, about family all her life These new and collected poems of the Middle East sixty in all appear together here for the first time.

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      Published :2020-01-26T14:26:07+00:00

    One thought on “19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

    1. Sincerae

      I was thinking today before winding up 19 Varieties of Gazelle that these poems by Naomi Shihab Nye rather reminds me of Mahmoud Darwish's poetry. The author or these poems is half Palestinian and half American. Her father was born in Palestine. Though living in America Shihab Nye was able to capture the beauty and wisdom of Arab poetry. Even in English translation, poetry by a number of Arab poets I've read is incredibly beautiful and touches my soul. This collection is geared towards teenagers [...]

    2. Educating Drew

      "We need poetry for nourishment and for noticing, for the way language and imagery reach comfortably into experience, holding and connecting it more successfully than any news channel we could name." (xvi)19 Varieties of Gazella is a book of poetry written about the middle east: the struggles, the food, the beliefs, but mostly the people. I think that this is more "my kinda" poetry book. Each poem is vivid, but not embedded in so many poetic devices that my mind wanders trying to decipher its me [...]

    3. AGastolek

      The 60 poems written by Naomi Shihab Nye and published under a very peculiar title “19 Varieties of Gazelle” represent voices of people living in the Middle East. In her writing, the author describes neighbors, family members, friends and strangers and portrays their fears, anxieties and hopes. Through the eyes of a father burying his 4 month daughter and “silent Jewish and Arab women standing together”, the reader can see the nonsense of killing and living under constant mutual oppressi [...]

    4. Sandy

      This book is knocking me out. It proves that beauty and the poetry of words and gentleness and respectful observation of the small details of our days and love for humanity (all of humanity) is larger than the sky and more powerful than force.

    5. Meghan

      An empowering look into life in the Middle East. As an easy read, yet, not without taking the time to digest and absorb the in depth nature of the poems.

    6. Richie Partington

      7 June 2002 19 VARIETIES OF GAZELLE: POEMS OF THE MIDDLE EAST by Naomi Shihab Nye, Greenwillow, April 2002"In her first home each book has a light around it.The voices of distant countriesfloated in through open windows,entering her soup and her mirror.They slept with her in the same thick bed.Someday she would go there.Her voice, among all those voices.In Iraq a book never had one owner--it had ten.Lucky books, to be held oftenand gently, by so many hands.Later in American libraries she felt sa [...]

    7. Bethany

      Luminous. It's amazing how mere words can unlock memories, inspire the senses, and make another world come so alive. This book, these words, Nye's poetry, transported me back to the place where I lived for a few years in my 20s and 30s. It made me fall in love with the Middle East all over again. Lovely, powerful metaphors.

    8. Tristan

      Overall, a highly enjoyable collection. Naomi Shihab Nye does a very good job of giving the Middle east a human face. Now, I'm not one of those "All Muslims are evil" type people (although I have met them), but this book does a phenomenal job shattering that unfeeling self-deception. With poems like "The Man Who Makes Brooms" and "The Garden of Abu Mahmoud"(which may be my favorite two poems in the book) and "For the 500th Dead Palestinian, Ibtisam Bozieh" 19 Varieties of Gazelle paints a human [...]

    9. Jocelyn M

      Never before was I interested in reading poetry books - I would read it online, but a whole book was just too monotone. I found them particularly drab in taste due to the setup and freeform system of it all. My teacher had recommended this to me, as the author is a keynote speaker at a writing conference I will be attending. I picked up the book and ended up loving it. It took me a while to get used to the freeform setup of the book, as there is no clear overarching plotline other than the autho [...]

    10. Lindsey

      MIDDLE EAST BOOK AWARD WINNER (2003)Format: PoetryAge level: High schoolProtagonist: NAReview:This is a collection of poems, all written by Naomi Shihab Nye. All of the poems are written in free verse and reflect her life living in the middle east.Unfortunately, I did not particularly enjoy this book. I was hoping to gain a greater understanding as to what life was like for the author, but that didn't happen. I think one of the problems is she seems to be writing from a Middle Eastern perspectiv [...]

    11. Ellen Shackley

      Genre: PoetrySummary: This book is a collection of poetry by Naomi Shihab Nye about the various cultures, customs, people, and traditions in the Middle East. Many of her experiences and memories are fondly recorded in a free verse style of poetry.A) Area of Focus: OrganizationB) Poetry is often a daunting medium for young readers. It requires them to think beyond the actual text which can be difficult. The organization of the poems in an anthology such as this can make all of the difference in w [...]

    12. Sean

      Nye's poetry connects a place to the people who inhabit it, the people who have left it, and the people who carry it within them.It's easy for me to love this work because I see so much of my family - my wife's family - in it. Nye writes of a culture I wasn't born to, but chose, and live. And what she writes feels true; I see it in my mother-in-law's kitchen. In my father-in-law's garden, the town of Bireh, in the West Bank, where we walked from one relative's house to another, to another, to an [...]

    13. Alma Martinez

      I did not like this book at all. It began with an intro that mentioned a person who was just released from jail on the day 9/11 happened and began to talk about how the author's grandmother would have felt about that event in relation to Muslim Arabs in the Middle East, in particular. Had it not been for the brief intro many of these poems would have absolutely no meaning as it was.With that in mind, many of the poems were about Nye's father and grandmother. There were also quite a few that were [...]

    14. Patty

      I like to be reading a poetry book at all times. Sometimes it takes me months to finish a book, but I believe poems are a necessary part of life. Readers should take the time to find poets and poems that they like. Reading them out loud, or better yet hearing them read makes all the difference. If I am not enamored with every poem in a book, I am sure to find one or two that blow me away.It took me awhile to get into these poems by Nye. I have read a lot of her work in anthologies and I like the [...]

    15. Ginta Harrigan

      The book “19 Varieties of Gazelle” is a collection of poems about the Middle East. Some of the poems are about people. “Flinn on the Bus” is about someone who was just released from prison hours after the twin towers fell in New York City. “Ibtisam” is about a girl who is killed thereby killing her dreams of being a doctor died as well. Some of the poems are about author Naomi Shihab Nye’s family – “My Grandmother in the Stars” and “For Mohammed on the Mountain.” And some [...]

    16. Laura

      Page 105 Untitled (Even On a Sorrowing Day)so amazing, a perfect short poemThe fact that the poems in this collection are all untitled may speak to the fact Nye writes here about the small untallied moments, about people of everday consequence but living in quiet anonyminty as far as the western world is concerned. A loving glimpse into the lives of Arab-Americans and Middle Eaterners.I wrote a beautiful poem today and a few last week I thought were some of my best. But I am reading Tales of a S [...]

    17. Carrie

      I eat up Nye's poetry like a package of Oreos, completely enjoyable and addictive. Even though I have no personal connection with the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, her poems invited me in and made me feel like a humble visitor to this ancient culture. Peace in the Middle East is a noble thing to wish for and I'm sure her work is not completely in vain, but the unrest in that area is deeper than just two groups of people striving to share the same land. The Biblical signific [...]

    18. Erin

      I'll say it again, I'm not a big fan of poetry, but the introduction alone was enough to propel me through half the book. Nye talks about the terrorist attacks on September 11th and the importance of realizing that many, if not most, Middle Eastern people were not behind them. She discusses how she turns to poetry, and while I don't have a lot of patience for it, the images she creates with her verses are quite lovely.Part of my trouble with poetry is that I am so used to traditional reading, wi [...]

    19. Michelle

      I don't normally sit down to read a book of poetry, but this one was well worth it. It is a collection of poems by a Muslim woman whose family left Iran in 1978 during the revolution and came to the States. Her poetry is beautiful and adequately describes the sorrow Muslims in the US feel about the conflict that continues in the Middle East between Muslims and Jews. Also, the pain Muslims here feel about 9/11 and the intense desire to not be associated with violent radicals. I was reading this o [...]

    20. Kat High

      19 Varieties of Gazelle emphasizes the juxtaposition between peaceful Palestinian cultures and violence in the Middle East. Poetry can be a dense read. To really understand poetry you have to read and reread the poetry a couple of times, and you have to look into the cultural significance of words and images, and you usually have to look up some etymologies. To be perfectly honest, I read the whole thing more as a surface read. I was struck by the beautiful imagery and the poet's use of linguist [...]

    21. Rll595ag_fabiolaginski

      I loved "19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East," by Naomi Shihab Nye. I think it is a wonderful book to share with children as a way of making connections with a culture different than their own. This book provides a window into the Middle East and its people and a way to show that despite obvious, surface differences there are many similarities among different cultures all around the world. Through the beautiful simplicity and honesty of her poetry, the author proves that there is l [...]

    22. Liz Strode

      AWARD AND HONORS: ALA Notable Children’s Book, Parents' Choice Silver Honor, School Library Journal Best Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, National Book Award Finalist, Horn Book FanfareIn response to the attacks on 9/11 Naomi compiled these poems from the Middle East to help us see the connectedness we have with others. I found myself reading and rereading many of the poems in this collection over and over again. I am drawn most to her poems that use everyday objects as metaphors for othe [...]

    23. Jill

      A finalist for the National Book Award, so reading I assigned myself. From "Arabic Coffee"" Whenhe carried the tray into the room, high and balanced in his hands, it was an offering to all of them, stay, be seated, follow the talkwherever it goes. The coffee was the center of the flower. Like clothes on a line sayingYou will live long enough to wear me, a motion of faith. There is this, and there is more.***"My Grandmother in the Stars""Where we live in the world is never one place. Our hearts, [...]

    24. Stephanie Jobe

      I’m not usually a big poetry person. Maybe it’s because I still think of the awkward poems we are forced to write as children when we do not yet know the words for what we feel. Maybe it’s just that there is too much poetry out there that isn’t really that good. My personal opinion is that this is really good. I’ll admit when picking a book of “poems of the Middle East” published post 9-11 I was a bit wary that it would be too defensive. I think the Middle East as portrayed by Nye [...]

    25. Michelle

      Besides being a book of poetry about conflict & human experience of war; this book is about everyday life in families. I like it in particular because several of the poems remind me to slow down and live in the moment of those everyday life events. I also like it because the everyday life events described are from a culture not mine & i get to peek in on the scenery, food, & details of what goes on. Here's a short one:A Single Slice Reveals ThemAn Apple on the tablehides its seedsund [...]

    26. Corinne Wilson

      This thoughtfully compiled collection of poetry focuses on the culture of the Middle East and the tensions between Jews, Christians and Muslims. Nye is one of my all-time favorite poets, but I would have enjoyed this volume of poetry more if there were context for some of the poems. Most need no explanation, especially if you read them carefully, but for others I had difficulty following her thoughts or wanted to know more about the person or place she was describing.Book Quote: “Are people th [...]

    27. Nikki

      What a treat it has been to read one of these poems every night before I go to sleep, savoring the words and getting a glimpse into life in the Middle East. This would be a WONDERFUL book to share with kids to help them analyze poetry AND to learn about life in the Middle East. Here are my favorite lines, from the poem, 'Stanza',"To live without roads seemed one waynot to get lost. To make mapsof stone and grass, to rub stars together,find a spark."

    28. RLL22016_EsmeraldaValerio

      Pretty good read. This book is a series of poems talking about the Middle East and the struggles and journeys that some individuals go though. This collection contained poems about the author itself, two members of her family and other individual such as that of an individual whose dreams of becoming someone important are crushed. I would recommend this book to people who want to read about other cultures in a different form that they usually do.

    29. Sari

      19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye was an interesting collection of sixty poems about the author's life and culture as an Arab-American, along with the narratives of others such as Abu Mahmoud, the owner of a farm on the West Bank, and her Uncle Mohammed who one day moved up to a mountain. They also talk about specific places, such as Jerusalem and the West Bank. While some of the orders of these poems seem slightly random, the stories are touching. The poems c [...]

    30. Sarri Tate Gibson

      This is a beautiful book that gives a lovely perspective on life in the middle east. It is important to introduce our students to lives that look different than theirs and this book does a fantastic job of breaking down stereotypes and showing a very human side to a group of people that are often dehumanized in our current political culture.

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