What Have You Lost? Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does the author write about her choice to collect these poems in the Introduction?

In the Introduction, Nye talks about how she began looking for poems about the experience of loss and kept a file of them for years with poems coming to her in various ways. It is harder to find poems about the things people would like to lose, such as regret, worry, envy, weight, fear, or self-consciousness. Nye suggests the reader may find them; maybe the reader is writing one now.

2. What is described in "Dedication"? What simile is used to describe old papers?

In "Dedication," the poems can only be seen when they move, but to grab them is to crush them, so they are tossed away on old papers, leaving the writer sticky with the first line of their first poem which struggled free. This poem uses a simile to compare old papers to whispers of spider webs, and it also personifies the poems it describes.

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