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The Financial Express

About Arab-American poet Naomi Shihab

| Updated: October 22, 2017 21:02:34


About Arab-American poet Naomi Shihab

I admire Naomi Shihab Nye(1952-) because she is the one who wrote 'Your life is a poem'. She is an Arab-American poet who came into prominence when "Making A Fist", a nifty but neat-handed work was published in 1988. Nye, through mostly free verses, writes about everyday life, ordinary events and common objects. Nye paints her experience of childhood. She was sick and suffered from pains. Her mother assured her saying that she was not dying as long as she still had the strength to make a fist. Nye recollects her childhood and writes that she is still comforted by this thought.
The figurative speech of this poem is quite ornamental and articulate. The very line "life sliding out of me" shows skilful use of realisation. We can clearly conceive the parade's loud drumming fading away when she says, "a drum in the desert, harder & harder to hear". These lines describe how she felt at that time.
Here the phrase "making a fist" apparently may refer to fight. But as we read the last lines of the poem we think differently. This fist may refer to fight against the obstacles of life. This poem has a verse filled with big things that happen in people's life. She says "the borders we must cross separately/stamped with our unanswerable woes." People achieve these things in their life.
It is a poem that most people can relate with his own life. We all had to deal with many questions. Although many of them remain unanswered, we continue our journey. The writer is still lying in the back seat behind all her questions but she can still clench and open her hand. That is also how we go through in this condition but we live.
Jannatul Kaonain 
MA Student, Department 
of English, NSTU.
[email protected]
 

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