19 Varieties of Gazelle Summaries Part 2

Footfall: Nye observes the strange rituals of a turtle, especially her 6th sense of being able to sense movement without hearing.  She compares this to her own 6th sense of the conflict which affects her people, keeping her up at night.

Trenches and Moats and Mounds of Dirt: Nye observes characteristics of old Palestinian towns and the people that lived there, and compares it to the modern attempts at peace in which teenagers ask to change places to understand the beliefs of their opponents and end fighting.

What He Said to his Enemies: A man observes his supposedly stable world fall apart around him, then lays out all of his characteristics for his enemies to see and challenge should they see fit or make peace with should they understand.

Peace: An invisible person no longer believes in powerful characteristics that can lead to peace; an old man remembers a consistent flaw in his childhood, hoping to find it again as a reminder of times of peace and innocence.

How Long Peace Takes: Nye references several examples of processes or things that are nearly infinite/impossible, indicating that peace is virtually impossible for her people.

A Single Slice Reveals Them: People are like apples, hiding their ideas like an apple hides it seeds, deep in conversation.  A slice reveals a huge amount that can greatly change the view people have of you.

Stonehouse: After her death, Nye hopes that her grandmother’s chest full of her collection of items brought to her by her family that came to define her, is still safe and capable of being opened.  She wants for these ideas and thoughts that represent the prosperous past to be eternal.

Jerusalem Headlines 2000: A great snowfall, somewhat of a disaster, forces Israelis and Palestinians to work together to help the city, resulting in an Israeli official stating that he supports a Jerusalem that is shared by both groups.

Mr. Dajani, Calling from Jericho: The speaker sends Mr. Dajani, in Jericho, books to help him foster his peaceful pursuits in the face of the bombings and other violence that are prominent in his city.  He is thankful for this.

All Things Not Considered: Many children are killed because of religious violence, so this violence is considered holy.  Nye argues that this is terrible, and that people need to learn to live together, that land is but a trifle and the true conflict is internal, being defined by individual beliefs that are the only thing needed to differentiate people, not land.

Blood: There are intrinsic things that define a person as Arab as Arab beyond their blood: beliefs, lack of things such as a homeland and peace, yet also a lack of recognition on the same level as others by some people.  Nye ends the poem by further questioning this, her ethnic identity.

Postscript: Any story that is told is that of whoever it is told to, meaning something that they can back up as well as what the teller intended.  Writing is impersonal, but is still capable of making a difference because of the connection that its readers make with it on their own.


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