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Poetry readers were in the mood for ‘Kindness’ in 2018

December 19, 2018
FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2011, file photo, poet Naomi Nye speaks with students at Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge, La., reading from some of her published pieces. The Academy of American Poets announced Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, that Nye’s “Kindness” was the most popular work on poets.org. (Richard Alan Hannon/The Advocate via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Poetry readers this year have been in the mood for kindness.

The Academy of American Poets announced Wednesday that Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Kindness” was the most popular work on poets.org this year.

More than 250,000 people in 2018 clicked on the poem, which features such lines as “It is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes.”

The 66-year-old Nye said in a statement that she was inspired to write the poem after she was robbed on a bus in Colombia and a man she remembered as an “Indian in a white poncho” was murdered.

She praised a passing stranger who asked what happened and was thankful to have her pencil and notebook, and to be alive.

Nye’s books include “Transfer” and “Red Suitcase.”

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