19 Varieties of Gazelle by Naomi Shihab Nye.
Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins: NY, 2002.
National Book Award Finalist

This is a poetry collection of Nye's (an Arab-American) memories of family and connections to the Middle East. Most of the poems are of people - relatives, friends, hosts. Mostly deeply held remembrances. Some deal with the struggle of wrapping the brain around the unworkable situation we are expected to accept. Obviously the poet has a strong desire for peace and has even worked towards peace through her travels, reaching out to others through visits and her words.

I don't totally understand all of the poems, but it touched me enough that I want to understand it better. We come from much different backgrounds, but I sense that we share the same feelings. I cannot know the pain she has; it is much more personal for her.

I enjoyed many of the people poems - Different Ways to Pray, My Father and the Fig Tree, Going to the Spring, The Words Under the Words, For Mohammed on the Mountain, Arabic Coffee, and Footfall.

I would like all relevant politicians to read this book. It is fairly simple and quick and has a few poems that speak directly to the heart of the matter: Those Whom We Do Not Know, Jerusalem, Trenches and Moats and Mounds of Dirt, Mr. Dajani, Calling From Jericho, and All Things Not Considered.

related-Middle East, poetry, conflict and resolution, human behavior, daily life, people, memories, remembrances
Maybe what I need is a list of books focused on awareness, striving for peace. I have a book here or there, but nothing resembling a list.

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