Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What Have You Lost?” as Want to Read:
What Have You Lost?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What Have You Lost?

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  278 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
This collection of 140 poems reflect on the provocative question posed by the title of this book, and includes poems by a shoe, a house, a father, innocence, and more.
206 pages
Published by Turtleback Books (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What Have You Lost?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about What Have You Lost?

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 662)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Fred Darbonne
Mar 26, 2014 Fred Darbonne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book I keep on my side table for late evening reading, savoring it with a cup of herb tea or cocoa as it nourishes my mind and spirit. This volume did not disappoint, leaving me saddened at its finish. A collection of poems expressing the heart’s wrestling with a wide range of losses, from lost relationships, opportunities, parenting and regrets, and other things worth mourning, like identity, roles, and time, which are often unacknowledged losses. It is validating to find in ...more
May 19, 2014 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this on the heels of my mother's death, just over a month ago. Given to me by friends, who are also writers, colleagues, and lovers of life and learning. I'm not fully ready to give a complete review, as I think I need to sit with it a bit longer, but here's what I know so far:

Death and loss don't come as you'd expect. Whether it be a person you hold close or one you barely knew, people and things impact you in a myriad of ways, sometimes getting all tangled together like a kite strin
Jun 04, 2015 Tristan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Wow. I was surprised by the incredible sweetness and strength of this collection. Usually, Ms. Nye is a perpetually four-star author--really truly amazing, except for her semi-regular disasters--but as an anthologist, she has blown my socks off. This collection, while not unified in tone or in specific subject, was linked together by the use of "loss" as the persistent theme of the collection. Every poem was powerful and well composed, and most were by poets of whom I have never even heard, much ...more
Shannon Miranda
Poetry Genre

This is a collection of poems by different authors. The theme of the book is loss; some poems are literally about losing a material object. Yet, many are about the loss of a loved one, or more abstract such as the loss of someone’s childhood, innocence or time.

I believe that there is something for everyone in this book to be able to relate to. Some poems are a few pages long, others are just short snippets, these in particular pack a powerful punch. One poem in partic
Manik Sukoco
Jan 06, 2016 Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this selection of poetry. The selections are beautiful and thoughtful. No vulgarity. I'm glad this book caught my eye! I've read other books and poems by Ms. Nye, and she is a splendid author! I love all of her work. All the poems are touching, and they can relate to almost any situation life may throw at you.
Michael Poage
Jan 07, 2013 Michael Poage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful, smart, and varied collection of poems that give life to a dark day and fullness to an empty night. Naomi Shihab Nye is a gifted writer who also does the work of reading/editing with skill and thoughtfullness. I had this book on a shelf here in my home study but did not know it. I found the one copy, then, a second copy - I guess I was meant to read the book which I am doing with gratitude and I had the pleasure of being able to give such a living book to someone else. Thanks, Naomi! ...more
P is for Polly
Aug 03, 2010 P is for Polly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The best collection of poems I've read to date. Why? Because the poems are collected by theme in a grass roots method, each one had depth, personality, personal story,--and most importantly-- I could always understand what the poem was about. It was about loss. Surprisingly this theme created the force of hope in its writers. The second half of the book was titled "What have you found?" For in losing, we find. I"d love to meet Naomi and talk about this book.
Makaela Rhine
"Loss" may seem a curious subject around which to center a collection of poetry, but this fine anthology feels absolutely natural. Lost memories, lost relationships, regret-each poem pierces and then releases readers, who pocket a new treasure at the end of each page." This is amazon's summary of this book and i couldn't agree more. These poems are very dark and revolve around what it's like to loose someone.

I would recommend this book for a mature audience. Some poems are hard to read because
Sep 07, 2008 Kenzie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life-changing
A collection of poems has never held as many of my favourites as this one has. Generally free style, the words hit the modern reader with intimate veiws on life everyone has at some point. This book brought me through hard times.
Apr 09, 2015 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-13-25
What Have You Lost? is a book of poetry marketed toward Young Adults. The theme is loss, and there are a variety of poems by a variety of authors addressing loss from a pair of gloves to family members, from innocence to happiness.

I always struggle to like poetry, which is why I could only afford this collection three stars. Some of the pieces really stand out, and some of them are so obscure that I wouldn't know what they were talking about at all if I didn't know the book was focusing on loss
Apr 07, 2016 R rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took a while to finish because it's the kind of book I sit down and read a few poems of when I want to do some quick reading. I loved it to pieces. Losing is something anybody can connect to. There is so much written by so many authors that someone can't lose interest. I don't agree that this is for mature readers, however I do think certain poems will "click" with certain ages more. It comes from the heart and they all are special to someone. This book is amazing because even though someone o ...more
Ruqayya Jarad
Feb 15, 2015 Ruqayya Jarad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poem
- “What have you lost?” Poem selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. This is a collection of poems about losing things, losing homeland, oneself, friends, parents, siblings, spouses, trust and friendship. We all have loss in our lives and we learn and grow from it and somehow become stronger. This is a very moving book of poetry. It contains excellent black and white illustrations on the front cover. I recommend it for students from the 5th grade and up, as well as parents and teacher. Everyone can relate ...more
Lisa Mason
Nov 26, 2011 Lisa Mason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

2. What have you lost? is a poetry anthology selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. The collection includes poems about personal loss like loved ones, old homes, and the passing of time. Some poems are seemingly trivial about crayons or wallets, while others are raw and deeply painful.

3.A. Content/theme B. Loss is a universal theme and Naomi Shihab Nye has done an excellent job of creating an anthology that includes a rich collection of poems and poets from a broad spectrum of cultural traditions
I will start by saying I am generally not a fan of poetry. Very little I have read has connected with me. My taste in poetry generally trends towards something rhyming and witty or dark and narrative-driven.

That being said, I reacted about how I expected to this collection. For the most part I was fairly unaffected. There were a few that I appreciated, either for the full concept or particular phrases. I found most of them to be fairly generic, and none of them really struck a chord with me.

I s
Oct 02, 2011 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-1-15
This book is a collection of poems. They are all about what someone has lost. Most of the poems are focusing on what they would have done but cannot due any more because the person whom they would have told or done so to is now gone. The poems are funny and sometimes sad. The poems as any poem vary in the feelings of their lost. Their range from either looking on the bright side of being able to move on or being depressed.
I enjoyed this book very much because they were wide ranging of emotions
Lauren Hopkins
What Have You Lost? poems selected by Naomi Shihab Nye

This collection of poems deals, as the title suggests, with loss. In Nye’s introduction, she asks the question, “Is there anything good about losing?” These poems deal with the seemingly insignificant to more devastating losses like death and divorce. Notable poems include, “Orange Juice,” “Battleground State Park,” “Simple Song of Being Oneself,” “What We Want,” “What Gets Lost/Lo Que Se Pierde,” “The Higher Reach
Dec 21, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This may be marketed as a children's book but I'd hate for adults to shy away from it for that reasons. It's a poignant, thought-provoking collection. I love that Nye trusts her young readers to grapple with the concept of loss and some of the more nuanced ways of expressing it.
Anna Harris
This book was a collection of poems about what people have lost. The poems talk about death, loss of virtue, abuse, loss of innocence, etc. . . All the poems just seem really depressing to me and I'm sure I would want to read this book again if I had lost someone or something. In this way the poems reach out and personalize so that whoever reads them knows that they are not the only ones who have felt pain from losing something. I like how at the end of the book the authors each have a section w ...more
Ashley G
Mar 05, 2012 Ashley G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I personally have an overwhelming phobia of 'losing'... I grieve greatly over a lost umbrella just as I am utterly distressed by the loss of a family member or friend. I don't like the feeling of my attachments being taken from me it's an uncontrollable and inevitable truth that exhausts me with worrying. This anthology of poetry was an amazing look into the theme of loss but what I most like was the section on things found which soothed my fretting mind. We have all lost something and Naomi Shi ...more
Mar 04, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waking Up in the Morning

Waking up in the morning
my unshaven cheek feels against the back of my hand
as if time, having eaten up another twenty-four of my hours,
left crumbs on my face.

Zymunt Frankel
Oct 10, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-lit
This book has a myriad of poems selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. They are all under the common theme of loss. The interesting thing about these poems is that not all of them are about death like you would think by the title. Some talked about the loss of their soul, the loss of a relationship, or the loss of their way in life. Some held hopeful notes of seeing a loved one again and some held very depressing notes with assumptions of never-ending unhappiness. It is a very beautiful selection of poem ...more
Ben Melville
Apr 19, 2015 Ben Melville rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the better poetry books I have read. I have dealt with a lot of loss in my my life and this book allows me to relate to what the author wrote.
Raylee Gifford
This book is a compliation of poems centered around the theme of loss. The poems centered around losing people like mothers and fathers from different causes or losing things. There were poems about losing time, childhood, personal objects, innocence, etc. Most of the poems are pretty depressing simply because they center around an unhappy theme but many of the poems were very beautiful and full of vivid imagery. I would recommend this book to teenagers who like poetry, specifically those who ha ...more
Aug 16, 2007 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All
Shelves: poetry
Nye did not write this book. She selected the poems. I like several of them. Though I find some sentimental; some lines reach out and grab me: "Today I'll grow into myself, be the river/of my blood, the sky inside my eyes,/ the maze of my ribs, the dust that settles/on my heart. I'll let my bones sink/ like pebbles in a pond./ I'll let my feet grow roots and be an extra zero/on the checks that I'll refuse to write."
Christy Woolum
Jan 19, 2014 Christy Woolum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful collection of poetry.
Jun 25, 2009 Francesca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-poetry
This is a book that was noted as an anchor book in Lucy Calkins' Units of Study for intermediate grades. It is a haunting book of poetry that deals with losses as seemingly insignificant as a light in the middle of the night to the heart wrenching loss of a loved one. I haven't used it with kids but often turn back to it in my more melancholy moments.
Aug 05, 2011 Angélique rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Reading these poems, it was easy to find oneself immersed in them. A very stirring read. At times, makes you really consider what the back story of the poem is. Makes for quite reflective reading.
Marianna Monaco
Aug 25, 2013 Marianna Monaco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, photography
diverse poetry
arresting photos, unexplained and mysterious.
the photo of the young boy, head lilted, hand over his heart is haunting.
I'd like to know more. My heart knows more.
Aug 16, 2010 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Great collection of poetry, though I think it's a bit too deep to be in the juvenile section of the library. I don't think kids would understand any of these poems.
Accessible poetry that suits tween and teen readers. I don't love most of the poems herein, but most are of solid, if not remarkable, quality.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Spoken Word Revolution (slam, hip hop & the poetry of a new generation)
  • Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art
  • Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem
  • Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems
  • Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States
  • Alive Together
  • A Suitcase of Seaweed and Other Poems
  • Technically, It's Not My Fault: Concrete Poems
  • This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness
  • A Fire in My Hands
  • A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems
  • Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem
  • You Hear Me?: Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys
  • Poetry Speaks Who I Am with CD: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else (A Poetry Speaks Experience)
  • The Negro Speaks of Rivers
  • All the Small Poems and Fourteen More
  • Poetrees
  • Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems
Naomi Shihab Nye was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother. During her high school years, she lived in Ramallah in Jordan, the Old City in Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas, where she later received her B.A. in English and world religions from Trinity University. She is a novelist, poet and songwriter.

She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. She was elected a Chancellor of the Acad
More about Naomi Shihab Nye...

Share This Book