THE SPACE BETWEEN OUR FOOTSTEPS: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East by Naomi Shihab--Ed. Nye
Kirkus Star

THE SPACE BETWEEN OUR FOOTSTEPS: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

As nourishing a feast as Nye's This Same Sky (1992), this gathering mixes new and previously published works from 130 poets and visual artists born or living in 20 Middle Eastern and North African countries. Although some contributors refer to war, suffering, landlessness, poverty, or exile, most prefer to recall parents, relatives, and childhood, evoke particular moments, places, and feelings, or play with language and images. The effectively placed full-color art conjures a variety of moods, sensibilities, and techniques, from Reha Yalnizcik's naively drawn bird, which looks in part like a child's crayon drawing, to Helen Khal's serene, subtle abstract, ""Horizon of Peace."" Among the poets are Israel's Yehuda Amichai and Egypt's Naguib Mahfouz, along with more locally recognized figures and young rising stars; some write in English, but most of the poetry is offered in simply phrased, freeverse translation. The diversity of viewpoint and universality of feeling will open the eyes of readers whose picture of this part of the world has been shaped by museum exhibits, the Arabian Nights, and the nightly news.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster