Analyzing Nye’s “Streets”

Read the following poem by Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952) very carefully:


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A man leaves the world

and the streets he lived on
grow a little shorter.
One more window dark
in this city, the figs on his branches
will soften for birds.
If we stand quietly enough evenings
there grows a whole company of us
standing quietly together.
overhead loud grackles are claiming their trees
and the sky which sews and sews, tirelessly sewing,
drops her purple hem.
Each thing in its time, in its place,
it would be nice to think the same about people.
Some people do. They sleep completely,
waking refreshed. Others live in two worlds,
the lost and remembered.
They sleep twice, once for the one who is gone,
once for themselves. They dream thickly,
dream double, they wake from a dream
into another one, they walk the short streets
calling out names, and then they answer.

From Words Under the Words: Selected Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye. Published by Far Corner. Reprinted with permission of the author. Copyright © 1995 Naomi Shihab Nye.


Analyze Nye’s “Streets” in detail, making sure to discuss all the aspects of poetry we have studied (see the documents titled “Poetry Analysis”).



Write this paper for a group of friends who have not read the same texts as you have, but who are interested in the same topic.


Your essay should:

· have a clear introduction, at least 5 body paragraphs, and a conclusion;

· have a clear thesis;

· develop only ONE idea in each body paragraph;

· use Times New Roman size 12, have 1 inch margins, be double spaced, and use left alignment;

· use MLA style for citations (see for further information);

· have your name, course title and section, and date at the top left corner of your paper.

Specific requirements:

Your essay should discuss the following in relation to the poem:

· subject

· theme

· tone

· speaker

· setting (spatial and temporal)

· signification of particular words/phrases

Your essay should also refer to at least three of the following in relation to the theme of the poem:

· signification of syntax: emphasis//repetition//inversions

· figures of speech: metaphor/simile/analogy/metonymy/synecdoche/symbols

· sounds of poetry: meter (regular vs. free verse)//caesura//enjambment

· form of poem: narrative//dramatic//discursive//descriptive//reflective

· external form: rhyme//alliteration/blank verse//villanelle//sonnet//haiku

For example, you can use emphasis, free verse, and alliteration=3 elements. (You do NOT have to use 3 elements from each category).

Please, underline all these elements as you discuss them in your essay. For example, “Shakespeare uses the metaphor ‘eye of heaven’ in order to suggest that….”

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