I’ve only read a few collections of poetry and this is one of the few I really liked. I rarely read poetry and when I do it’s usually individual poems and something I’m teaching. However, just like I tell my students, it’s always good to get out of your comfort zone. So in previewing collections to read I came across this one from Naomi Shihab Nye.
I read and taught her “Habibi” novel a few years back and enjoyed it a lot. Her writing voice really draws you and and sets up the world in a way that makes you immediately feel like you’re in the text. These same qualities drew me into the poems. The collection is centered around honeybees and although only a few were about or referenced honeybees, the general theme of togetherness, i.e. a hive, ties the collection together.
There were a few poems that seemed dated due to references to Bush and Cheney along with the invasion of Iraq. On one hand, this is a great example of art imitating life, but on the other unless you know the context these references can distract from the message. Overall it’s a solid collection.
If you’re new to poetry or a long time fan I think you would enjoy this collection.