Bombers and Gardeners in Nye’s “The Small Vases from Hebron” Naomi Shihad Nye’s poem “The Small Vases from Hebron” is a poem about the bombers and militants living contemporary Hebron. With so much ongoing tragedy from the Palestinian people going on every day in Hebron, this poem provides a metaphor, comparing the dreadful activity of bombing with the more peaceful activity of gardening. Nye’s metaphor is has a kind of negative satirical power, like the American song “Strange Fruit,” that was made popular by Billie Holliday, in which African Americans being hung from trees to strange fruit. In the same way, “The Small Vases from Hebron” provides a mock peacefulness, because, as it is widely reported, there is little or no peace in that...The end:
.....s it becomes more obvious, the metaphor of a bomb being a flower itself explodes. “Petals” from flowers harden into bits of metal that kill. The gardening metaphor of the poem is obliterated, and the reader is left “crushed glass under the feet.” In the final stanza, the reader is left with only the remaining realities. Words lose their meaning. Religion infects language. Children in Hebron sleep with the real possibility of being bombed themselves. Life in Hebron is too brutal for poems. The words and their importance are too close to being decimated in the minds of their listeners. The noble calling of poetry is too delicate for Hebron. Works Cited Nye, Naomi Shihab. “The Small Vases from Hebron.” Literature: A Portable Anthology. 2nd ed.