What it is: A cool conceptual book of poetry that strives to answer the title question. Editor Naomi Shihab Nye chose poems about losing something, be it a real physical thing, or something ephemeral like freedom or innocence. But it’s not all sad and hopeless, some poems talk about the windows that open when the door of loss closes. Strategically placed black and white photos of people of different ages and races studying the camera with hard to read expressions add to the power of this interesting collection.
What it ain’t: Hard to understand. Anyone can relate to what it feels like to lose something. We all have lost something important to us, and it’s usually a moment we never forget.
Who will like it: Just about anyone, but especially crunchy granola girls, sensitive pony-tail guys, and aspiring photographers.
A Sample: Teenagers/One day they disappear/into their rooms./Doors and lips shut/and we become strangers in our own home./I pace the hall, hear whispers,/a code I knew but can’t remember,/mouthed by mouths I taught to speak./Years later the door opens./I see faces I once held,/open as sunflowers in my hands. I see/familiar skin now stretched on long bodies/that move past me/glowing almost like pearls./ –Pat Mora