Thursday, December 28, 2006

New Year's Poem

Burning the Old Year

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.

~Naomi Shihab Nye

“Burning the Old Year” from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems


pepektheassassin said...

She's such an excellent poet--I bought a book of hers, and would never have known of her but for you guys! Have a great 2007, my friend!

Star said...

Thanks for sharing this January. I became acquainted with her through Susannah at ink on my fingers and have enjoyed reading more of her work.

my backyard said...

Great images!

ecm said...

What a perfect poem. I really, really like Naomi Shihab Nye. I hadn't read this one.

Deb R said...

One of these days I need to look for a book of Nye's poetry. Whenever anyone posts one of her's I always like it - including this one.

Happy New Year, January!

gkgirl said...

that was an awesome poem...
i especially loved the line
marry the air...
thanks for sharing that

Paris Parfait said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful poem. Happy New Year - I look forward to reading more of your own poetry in 2007.

chiefbiscuit said...

Thanks for the introduction to a new poet! Excellent.


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