A "Famous" Poem

Posted by Arathi Ravichandran on Jan 5, 2018
3348 reads  
Recently came across this stirring poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, and thought others would appreciate it as much as I do.
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.

Posted by Arathi Ravichandran | | permalink


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Comments (2)

  • Yoo-Mi Lee wrote ...

    Love this! Thanks for sharing, Arathi!

  • Gayathri Ramachandran wrote ...

    I keep coming back to read this again and again. I think I need to copy it out into my journal :) Thank you for sharing!