bookmark_borderA Bit of World Building in Hisham Matar’s The Return

“We entered the unexpected silence trees create by the sea. The changed light. The moistness in the air becoming slightly more material.”

Hisham Matar, The Return, Pg. 26

I’m currently making my way through Hisham Matar’s memoir The Return. When I came across this passage I was struck by how poetic it was, and by how simply Matar was able to construct a space in my mind, a sensation of a place, with so few words. It reminded me of the concept of world building I had learned last year.

Continue reading “A Bit of World Building in Hisham Matar’s The Return”

bookmark_borderPoetry Spotlight: “Kindness” – Naomi Shihab Nye

Recently, my dear friend Ranu shared a poem on social media by Naomi Shihab Nye. I had only come to learn of Nye’s poetry back in 2019, when a poetry newsletter shared a list of poems to be read, in the place of, or alongside prayers, during Thanksgiving dinner. In response to that post, I shared that first poem of hers, which had struck me so, and continues doing so each time I return to it. That poem is Red Brocade.

This began a brief volley of shared poems, ushering from her a link to a video of actress Emma Thompson reading the poem Kindness. In her preamble, Thompson dedicates the poem to humanity’s collective future, speaking about the need to consider a shift in our priorities and move towards a more kind, empathetic society.

What the crisis has made so painfully clear, is that we can’t go back to normal. We have to replace some of our priorities with others. We have to place people before profit, operation before competition, and above all, we have to access what has been so abundant…which is kindness.

Emma Thompson in her preamble to reading Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem, Kindness.


Dear Reader,

Hello, and welcome to my blog, Margin Notes. I hope this message finds you well and in good spirits. I hope that your family, friends, and loved ones have managed to find moments of peace and contentedness in a world that seems plagued by restlessness. 

Please excuse the appearance. As 2020 comes to a close, I have several projects in the works I hope to complete in time for the coming year. One of those projects is a redesign of Margin Notes. Additionally, I am working on a new photography & print shop site. 

For those of you who have enjoyed Margin Notes in the past… unfortunately, at this time, I am unable to recover the content from the previous version of the blog. However, perhaps sometime in the future I will put together an archive of what content remains.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Be well,

– S.