Fame

Something to think about on this Sunday:

“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*If you want to read more of Nye’s poetry, I strongly recommend her book of poems Transfer. Alternatively, you can check out this list of poems, articles, and more at the Poetry Foundation.

Advertisements

Poetry by Pablo Nerudo

I stumbled across this poem for the first time and want to share it. I’m sure it isn’t new for many people, but it was one of those poems that sort of knocked the wind out of me, leaving me breathless.

And it was at that age… Poetry arrived

in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where

it came from, from winter or a river.

I don’t know how or when,

no, they were not voices, they were not

words, nor silence,

but from a street I was summoned,

from the branches of night,

abruptly from the others,

among violent fires

or returning alone,

there I was without a face

and it touched me.

 

I did not know what to say, my mouth

had no way

with names,

my eyes were blind,

and something started in my soul,

fever or forgotten wings,

and I made my own way,

deciphering

that fire,

and I wrote the first faint line,

faint, without substance, pure

nonsense,

pure wisdom

of someone who knows nothing,

and suddenly I saw

the heavens

unfastened

and open,

planets,

palpitating plantations,

shadow perforated,

riddled

with arrows, fire and flowers,

the winding night, the universe.

 

And I, infinitesimal being,

drunk with the great starry

void,

likeness, image of

mystery,

felt myself a pure part

of the abyss,

I wheeled with the stars,

my heart broke loose on the wind.

 

-Pablo Neruda, translated by Alastair Reid

Mysterious Joy

Joy.

They live in a mystery, these people live in a mystery.

It’s joy that holds them up.

That was what mattered. It was joy that held them up, no matter if the wings grew out of their backs or were somehow held on with buckles and clamps.

Stephen King, The Talisman Continue reading

Snowkissed

This is the first time that I want to kiss you.
I look at the snow fluffed around our feet in soft mounds.
My breath escapes my lips in wisps and clouds, mingling with yours.
In a moment, this space will be gone,
And I will have lost you.
A snowflake falls on my glove, brilliant and perfect.
My eyes look up to meet yours, but you look past me.
You’re far away, and I tread the waves of what could have been.

Confession: when I first found this poem tucked into a folder on my laptop, I did not recognize it, but I know that I wrote it, probably a couple of years ago. I don’t write poetry often, but here ya go.