Red Suitcase

Baomi Shihab Nye, Author, Naomi Shihab Nye, Author BOA Editions $20 (90p) ISBN 978-1-880238-14-1
Here Nye's (Yellow Glove) poems travel from American attics to the rutted roads of Palestine. Most focus on details of daily life; throughout, the narrator maintains an obsession with letters, the only object able to journey safely between discrete worlds. Some letters, like that in ``Sincerely,'' arrive humbly, ``having lost faith of finding/ either name written on it.'' The more passionate letters in ``Saved'' are burnt before a lover and turn to ash. Other poems explore memory; ``Lullaby for Regret'' does full justice to the ``thin sliver/ that needles my wake.'' Nye writes quietly. Her cool distance is her best talent, for when she approaches charged topics like conflict and death, she tends to offer unsatisfying metaphors and puny images. Her discourse on war, ``For the 500th Dead Palestinian, Ibtisam Bozieh,'' rings hollow, from title to conclusion. ``Shoulders,'' the final poem, strains to carry both a child and the book on its back, and its invocation to children as ``the world's most sensitive cargo'' is rote. Nye's strength is her ability to express subtle emotions; weightier issues overwhelm her small, clear voice. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.