WHAT HAVE YOU LOST? by Naomi Shihab Nye


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Age Range: 12 - 15
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From 140 contemporary poets, many of whom have never been published, Nye (The Space Between Our Footsteps, 1998, etc.) gathers observations, ruminations, and informal prose comments on the theme of loss: from clothing or a thought, to deaths of friends and family members, of innocence, time, opportunities, pride, a homeland. The selections are all free verse, direct of address, virtually free of obscure imagery or difficult language, most, but not all, originally written in English. Although the general tone is understandably lugubrious, made more so by Michael Nye’s array of harshly naturalistic black-and-white portraits, some poets respond to the question of the title question more positively: “I take myself back, fear./You are not my shadow any longer./I won’t hold you in my hands.” This is heavy reading, but it documents a universal experience in ways that are thought- provoking. (index, not seen) (Poetry. 12-15)

Pub Date: March 25th, 1999
ISBN: 0-688-16184-7
Page count: 186pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1999