Famous by Naomi Shihab Nye


Today I present to you another poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. This particular poem talks about being famous. Oxford dictionary defines Famous as being “Known about by many people“. Most of us are familiar with famous people or famous organizations and so on. The word Famous immediately brings to our mind a certain set of images. Look at this poem now and see how this wonderful poet talks about ordinary things that could be famous and how!




Famous By Naomi Shihab Nye 


The river is famous to the fish.


The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.


The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.


The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.


The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.


The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.


The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.


I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.


I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.




Simply divine, isn’t it? Naomi talks about being Famous in the sense where we mean something important to someone. She talks about how a Boot is more Famous to the Earth than the Dress Shoe simply because she sees more of the Boot obviously. How a photograph is Famous to the one who carries it. Or how a Tear is Famous to the Cheek, albeit briefly! What a way to look at being Famous. The poet wants to be Famous for something as simple as being the one who smiled back! Or for being the one who never forgot what she could do! Think about it. If only we could all view life in a similar way! Our dreams and aspirations would be so different and easily achievable. Everyone can be Famous. Just by being themselves. What a thought.



2 thoughts on “Famous by Naomi Shihab Nye

Add yours

  1. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net
    the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people
    think about worries that they plainly don’t know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

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