By Maureen, 14 November 2021
I love books that are compact enough to slip into my jacket pocket, that I can touch and be reassured by as I walk to the bus stop, and that I can whip out and fall into as the bus lurches forward – swaying, stopping, swaying again – taking me towards my destination, wherever that may be. A Maze Me is one of those books, a rich, delicious collection of timeless poems by the award-winning poet, Naomi Shihab Nye.
In this slender tome, Shihab Nye shares the lyrical musings of a young girl as she observes her family, her friends, her cats and the community around her. She worries about her mother’s braid and she misses her brother after he falls asleep ahead of her. She imagines herself as a kitchen utensil and she daydreams as she gazes at the hair of the girl in front of her in school. She makes mosaics from fragments and necklaces from days. She thinks about tree frogs, travel to exotic places, and the coughing girl across the aisle of the plane. The poems are reminders that there is wonder everywhere, in each moment, if only we allow ourselves to see and experience it, if we keep our minds open.
They also testify to the universality of the human condition: even if you’ve never seen a Don Juan rosebush, or met the uncle who lived in Siberia, or dipped your foot into the Little Blanco River, you will feel – the joy, the longing, the disappointment, the worry, the wonder – all the emotions that make us human and more alike than not. You will be amazed by this collection of heart-warming and life-affirming poems, and you will be all the richer for it.
For girls of all ages, 12 and up.
For those unfamiliar with Shihab Nye’s voluminous body of work, start off with Kindess, one of her most famous poems. You’re very welcome!