Naomi Shihab Nye

(12 March 1952 / St. Louis, Missouri)

Burning The Old Year - Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

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.


Comments about Burning The Old Year by Naomi Shihab Nye

  • Susan Williams Susan Williams (12/31/2015 2:17:00 PM)

    Oh, my, I love the way she expresses herself- So much of any year is flammable,
    lists of vegetables, partial poems.
    Orange swirling flame of days,
    so little is a stone. (Report) Reply

    11 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Manonton Dalan (12/31/2015 2:16:00 PM)

    hmmmm I will have to do a lot
    on this end of year day...thanks (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A Ramesh T A (12/31/2015 9:41:00 AM)

    Goodbye to old year and Welcome to New Year with Love! (Report) Reply

  • Kim Barney (12/31/2015 8:03:00 AM)

    My favorite lines:

    So much of any year is flammable,
    so little is a stone. (Report) Reply

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (12/31/2015 5:50:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing. Ten points. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012



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