Honeybee: Poems and Short Prose By Naomi Shihab Nye

Honey. Beeswax. Pollinate. Hive. Colony. Work. Dance. Communicate. Industrious. Buzz. Sting. Cooperate.

Where would we be without them? Where would we be without one another?

In eighty-two poems and paragraphs, Naomi Shihab Nye alights on the essentials of our time—our loved ones, our dense air, our wars, our memories, our planet—and leaves us feeling curiously sweeter and profoundly soothed. Honeybee: Poems and Short Prose


Download Honeybee: Poems and Short Prose

This is the second collection of poetry by Nye that I've read and very much enjoyed. I love how she celebrates the small, beautiful moments that make up the best of us. It seems that some readers object to the politics in some of her poems, but I see it as an important part of her reflection on humanity. And the McNay Museum story? I really needed the chuckle I got from that one. 9780060853907 2.5 stars

In her moments of brilliance, the poems shine. Some are short and seem to capture the meaning of life in a few lines. Some are longer and surprise you with a gem nestled among the words.

She has a sly wit and a beautiful appreciation for the world around her, but sometimes this is overtaken by the message, (either about the environment or the violence in the Middle East and how the U.S. Is wrongwrongwrong), and these are beset with a smug tone, and my attention involuntarily wandered away from the page, instinctively averting my eyes, not wanting to witness her embarrassing moments of rudeness.

When it works, it really works:

There Was No Wind
I don't know why I would tell
an outright lie
to someone I never saw before
but when she asked
Did you close this door?
in an accusing tone
I said No, the wind closed it

She gave me an odd look
pushed the door wide open
and left it that way

I felt strange the rest of the day
walking around
with a stone on my tongue

The Crickets Welcome Me to Japan
All night they strum
their tuneless tunes

cousins of the crickets I heard
long ago in the corners of my room

I know the stories
to carry them out, not to crush them

and the small cages they are kept in
for good luck

but tonight I understand them
for the first time

after all my flying over water
the long tipped hours, the stretched-out light

they’re saying, Slow down
slow down

We told you this long ago but
but you forgot.

Running Egret
We want our nature to have a face.
An eye we can look into,
not like ours – clearer. Strong body
moving swiftly over land, belonging to no one.

Nonpartisan egret,
beyond everything that burden us,
unexpected, unpredictable,
sheer motion – flash of white –
creatures with a silence
wider than our own.

There are days we wake and need an egret.

ETA: I didn't realize until I started reading the reviews here that this book is being marketed as a book of children's poetry - this is not a children's book. Maybe the publisher got confused by the cute honeybee? The politics will go over children's heads, and the mature conclusions in the nature poems will just confuse them. The poems in this book that I found most powerful were wistful poems mourning times gone by, a mom looking back on the time when her children were young, and so on. These aren't things that will resonate with children. 9780060853907 absolutely wonderful. will reread, reread, and reread... 9780060853907 I didn't finish it, read 50% of it. I don't think I will ever finish it, it doesn't have enough bees haha. I liked the poems that ask humans to just be still for a while. 9780060853907 I absolutely LOVED this! 9780060853907

A very enjoyable collection, combining the whimsy and joys of observation with deeper themes of war, immigration, and climate change. Nye is quite a prolific writer, and I am glad to have started here. 9780060853907 Ever since Rachel McElroy read aloud Naomi Shihab Nye's poem Famous on her podcast Wonderful!, I have had it etched in my mind, along with a deep longing in my heart to read everything she's ever written. Honeybee was my first and I'm so glad it was. I loved every moment of it, the prose complemented the poetry so well and the themese that tied everything together were brilliant. I love bees so much, my uncle is a beekeeper and I grew up with fresh honey, clover and buzzing around me. The way this work encapsulates all the magic and importance of bees, both practically and in metaphor, is astounding. I would absolutely recommend this collection!


How can we help someone else want to live?


I have slept so many times you might think I would really be awake by now.


The Crickets Welcome Me to Japan-
they’re saying, Slow down slow down We told you this long ago but you forgot


I wanted the small room between sentences, the dark and wonderful room.


Look at those mansions, don’t you wish one was yours? Actually, I like little houses, less to clean. I wanted to live under the roots of a tree, like the squirrel family in a picture book, when I was small.


As if there were a home in the air around us from birth, spaciousness bidding us enter, we live inside the long story of time. And it was language giving us bearing, letting in light. 9780060853907 An incredible showing of work from current Young People's Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye. You are going to feel, and feel deeply, she says. Drinking it in. That's when we really live. Dipping and diving down into the nectar of scenes. (p. 6) There is the beautiful telling in 'Museum' where a young Nye and her friend mistake someone's house for a museum, walk in and around, awkward and all, and their love inspires all the same. Poetry is wielded like a weapon to weaponry as the author writes in protest against Bush and America's Middle East interventions, exemplified in 'Letters My Prez Is Not Sending'. Last Day of School is a love letter, a time-conscious piece that deifies the schools in our lives. And Gate A-4 is an ideal of living in love, and what that may do for us, all of us.

Read, read now for Love.

9780060853907 This woman can write! I mean, she can really, really write. Her essay about accidentally entering a home which she thought was a museum, was incredible.

So, why the three stars? Her politics were a little too in-your-face for me. I know that we all have different opinions, different viewpoints. I have no problem with that. What a dull, small world we would live in if that we didn't. I have many friends with extremely different viewpoints from my own. No problem there either. It's just that I got tired of Nye circling back around and beating the same drum again and again. And again. The people whose opinions I most learn from and feel challenged by are those people who show respect for someone with a differing point of view. Nye did not. Not once. 9780060853907 It is so weird to feel (almost) nostalgic reading protest poems about the Bush administration. 9780060853907