Monday, July 17, 2017

Poem excerpt on inside page

The inside cover pages of notebooks are always precious spots to decorate--with words, with tape, something that sticks. It's the first thing I flip to, and for that I want something that holds special meaning.

I absolutely adore the poem "The Tent" by Naomi Shihab Nye, and so I decided to write down an excerpt. It's beautiful and a work you want to remember.

The Tent
Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952
When did hordes of sentences start beginning with So?
As if everything were always pending, 
leaning on what came before.
What can you expect? 
Loneliness everywhere, entertained or kept in storage.
So you felt anxious to be alone.
Easier to hear, explore a city, room,
mound of hours, no one walking beside you.
Talking to self endlessly, but mostly listening.
This would not be strange.
It would be the tent you slept in.

Waking calmly inside whatever
you had to do would be freedom.
It would be your country.
The men in front of me had whole acres
in their eyes. I could feel them cross, recross each day.
Memory, stitched.  History, soothed.
What we do or might prefer to do. Have done.
How we got here. Telling ourselves a story
till it’s compact enough to bear. 
Passing the walls, wearing the sky,
the slight bow and rising of trees.
Everything ceaselessly holding us close.
So we are accompanied.
Never cast out without a line of language to reel us back.
That is what happened, how I got here.
So maybe. One way anyway.
A story was sewn, seed sown,
this was what patriotism meant to me—
to be at home inside my own head long enough
to accept its infinite freedom
and move forward anywhere, to mysteries coming.
Even at night in a desert, temperatures plummet,
billowing tent flaps murmur to one other.


  1. This is such a lovely poem, and the way you wrote it down is gorgeous!
    Amy xx

    A Habit Of Solitude

  2. This post is so cute, the poem is lovely and the style it's written is super pretty. The notebook itself is something I'd want to own, and I hope you fill it with lovely thoughts and memories :)

    Little Moon Elephant