poetry as the antidote to terrorism

poet naomi shihab nye, in her letter to would-be terrorists, wrote

Poetry humanizes us in a way that news, or even religion, has a harder time doing.

I have been reading her books, in particular Honeybee and combing through my folders. I came across a link to a letter she published last January – – – Letter from Naomi Shihab Nye To Any Would-Be Terrorists — and she writes to any would-be terrorists:

Our hearts are broken, as yours may also feel broken in some ways we can’t understand, unless you tell us in words.  Killing people won’t tell us. We can’t read that message. Find another way to live.  Don’t expect others to be like you.  Read Rumi.  Read Arabic poetry. Poetry humanizes us in a way that news, or even religion, has a harder time doing. A great Arab scholar, Dr. Salma Jayyusi, said, “If we read one another, we won’t kill one another.”  Read American poetry.   Plant mint.  Find a friend who is so different from you, you can’t believe how much you have in common. Love them. Let them love you. Surprise people in gentle ways, as friends do. The rest of us will try harder too. Make our family proud.
naomi shihab nye

What if poets ruled the world?

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