Naomi Shihab Nye


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.



Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis Missouri. She is married to Michael Nye, with one son. Naomi began developing a love for poetry at the age if six. In the begining they were silly things such as writing about cats, dogs, and fish. It wasn't until she was about fourteen until she really got serious about poetry. When she was fourteen she had visited her grandmother in Palestine and what she saw and felt while she was there had a impact on her poetry. Nye ended up graduating from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Nye's poems today still focus on the similarities and differences between cultures. She has a collection of books and poems 19 in total. Overall Naomi Shihad Nye is a very well rounded poet and writer and has received many awards such as peace hero.



The theme of this poem is simplicity. The theme is simplicity because the author relates everything to nature. Everything is relating back to nature things because Nye is trying to show that these things have been around forever and often get taken advantage of. In her poem Famous, she wants to show that you don't have to be something big to know who you are and you don't have to-do something amazing. You can just be simple and just the way you are and be perfect!
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