Sunday, April 25, 2010


A poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, courtesy of The Poetry Foundation


Because the eye has a short shadow or
it is hard to see over heads in the crowd?

If everyone else seems smarter   
but you need your own secret?

If mystery was never your friend?

If one way could satisfy
the infinite heart of the heavens?

If you liked the king on his golden throne
more than the villagers carrying baskets of lemons?

If you wanted to be sure
his guards would admit you to the party?

            The boy with the broken pencil   
            scrapes his little knife against the lead   
            turning and turning it as a point   
            emerges from the wood again

            If he would believe his life is like that   
            he would not follow his father into war


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1 comment:

  1. [Ok Leah, here's my second attempt at the comment :-)]


    When I was teaching adults we used a story from Naomi Shihab Nye in which she describes the meaning of her name, her son's name and a party she held in order to get to know all the other "Nye"s in her community.

    Her writing seems too soft and so gentle. But, how else can you reach through the hardened hearts better than by a comforting, persistent tone?


Religion, skepticism, and carving out a spiritual life post-Mormonism