Naomi Shihab Nye leaves me speechless. Her careful crafting of poems and prose and speeches is evidence of her love of language and her skill as a writer. Her newest endeavor, HONEYBEE, is a collections of works about gathering, about being a part of a community, about sweetness, about war and kiwis and museums. On the surface, this all sounds unconnected. However, the pieces of this book fit together in their own unique way. Perhaps the analogy most apt (and since it is a poetry collection, analogies seem apt, right?) has to do with how we played with Legos and other building materials as children. I was the kid who looked at the suggestions and directions and built whatever was there. My own resident teens used Legos to build edifices of their own devising. So, I read through the pages, flipping here and there until I have constructed my own private collection (the dogeared pages). Others will read this same book and dogear other pages or perhaps some of the same ones I did. We are all honeybees, flitting from flower to flower (or in this case, poem to poem), collecting pollen (words, ideas, images), and making our own sweet honey (meaning).
I leave you with one short piece from this remarkable collection.
This morning the newspaper
was too terrible to deliver
so the newsboy just pitched out
a little sheaf
Naomi Nye for Poet Laureate!