I’ve always appreciated poetry as an art form and when I had to study them in class it was a nice change of pace from fiction. It’s interesting to see how different poets use words to create images and feelings that break the rules of standard grammar and syntax. Sometimes a poem, without all the rules, just hits harder than a book covering the same topic. I have my list of favorite poems and have even tried my hand and writing poetry. It’s fun to try and develop my own style and see how I can use words to create feelings. But until recently I hadn’t made it a habit to pick up a collection of poems and read them for enjoyment.
That’s changed as I’ve come across more of Naomi Shihab Nye’s poetry. I’ve read several collections (and taught a few to my students). Her style really keeps my attention and makes me think all at the same time. She has a way with words that can take complex ideas and make them approachable for most readers.
This collection focuses on trash, which she defines several ways. Mostly it’s about literal trash which she has a hobby of picking up wherever she goes. She also develops the metaphor that sometimes people and ideas can be treated like trash. It’s a topic that I’d never consider being expressed through poetry. But it works.
This was an enjoyable read that demonstrated not only the poet’s craft but also the power poetry to make us stop and think.