As my fellow Americans celebrate their national holiday of idolizing
their craving for idolizing fellow human beings who’re famous for
being famous, I offer a few words from poet Naomi Shahib Nye.
— Gary Gach
The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,Â Â
which knew it would inherit the earthÂ Â
before anybody said so.Â Â
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birdsÂ Â
watching him from the birdhouse.Â Â
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.Â Â
The idea you carry close to your bosomÂ Â
is famous to your bosom.Â Â
The boot is famous to the earth,Â Â
more famous than the dress shoe,Â Â
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries itÂ Â
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.Â Â
I want to be famous to shuffling menÂ Â
who smile while crossing streets,Â Â
sticky children in grocery lines,Â Â
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,Â Â
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,Â Â
but because it never forgot what it could do.
Â©1995 Naomi Shihab Nye
â€śFamousâ€ť from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems (Portland, Oregon: Far Corner Books, 1995). Copyright Â© 1995 by Naomi Shihab Nye.
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