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“One Boy Told Me” by Naomi Shihab Nye

Funny and wise observations made by her young son—“Can noodles swim?” “My tongue is a car wash for the spoon”—prompted Naomi Shihab Nye to create “One Boy Told Me,” a “found” poem. Using her unique perspective as his mother, and her skill as a poet, Nye transforms his everyday chatter into a work of art that perfectly captures the magical thinking of children. As we marvel and laugh at the child’s words, we recapture a little of our own childlike appreciation of life.


Born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a Palestinian father and an American mother, Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet.” She has lived in Jordan, Palestine, and San Antonio, Texas. Her writing is inspired by her experiences as an Arab-American, as well as by the richness and diversity of the people and places she has encountered. She captures many of life’s little details in a journal she keeps and her careful observations often find their way into her poems.

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