Friday, September 13, 2019

Poetry Friday: "Maybe if we reinvent whatever our lives give us...."

Here's a new-to-me poem from Naomi Shihab Nye. It's short; do click through and read the whole thing because it's delicious.

I think my favorite line (although it's always a challenge to pick a favorite line from one of her poems) is:

Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us
we find poems.


As one who has re-invented the unexpected, labyrinthine ways of her life, I say again: Yes.

Valentine for Ernest Mann
Naomi Shihab Nye

You can’t order a poem like you order a taco.
Walk up to the counter, say, “I’ll take two”

(Read the whole thing here, at


She's also hosting a giveaway of her new book, Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle! Check out the details in her post today.



Linda B said...

This was one of the first poems I shared with my new students, showing them that Nye's question was what I wanted them to ask, over & over again. I was lucky I worked at a school where I could support many kinds of "what ifs" & Nye's poem is so beautifully inspiring for "Nothing was ugly/just because the world said so." Thank you, Karen, for sharing this.

Tabatha said...

Oh, that man would certainly always find poems in his wife's eyes, if she stayed after the skunk incident.
How wise Nye is! There are a lot of poems that students (and the rest of us) can find in people we almost like, but not quite.
(Maybe she's not SO wise, though -- I wonder how many letters she received after this that said, "Here's my address, write me a poem"??)

jama said...

This is one of my very favorite Nye poems! Love your photo too, with the vinyl records on the wall. :)

laurasalas said...

This is one of my favorite NSN poems, but I haven't read it in a while. Thanks for sharing this week!

Carol Varsalona said...

I do like this poem but it is always good to reread it. "Poems hide." I am always looking for them inside ordinary things.

Cheriee Weichel said...

I love this poem, and I love Nye's explanation of how she came to write it. If you haven't heard it, she talks about it here.

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks, all, for chiming in!
I can't believe it took me this long to find this one. I'm sure I've read it before (probably at some of your blogs!) :) Jama, isn't that photo lovely? Thank goodness for Pexels. And Cheriee, thanks for the Youtube link -- off to watch!