So Much Happiness by Naomi Shihab Nye

“Naomi Shihab Nye – a poet, songwriter, and novelist. She was born to a Palestinian father and American mother. Her first collection of poems, Different Ways to Pray, explored the theme of similarities and differences between cultures, which would become one of her lifelong areas of focus.”

This is her second poem I’m sharing here and just like the other one I shared, this one says a lot in a few lines. Her poems are simple and yet profound. In ‘So Much Happiness’ Naomi talks about happiness and how one deals with it. If we all think back to the times we were really happy, and I’m sure everyone will have atleast one such instance to remember, then these lines will make sense to us. Reading the poem, I feel it is no big wonder that happiness can be so contagious!

Enjoy the poem here:

~~~

So Much Happiness by Naomi Shihab Nye

 

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records…..
Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.

~~~
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