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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

The ironic thing about free verse poetry is that it isn't exactly free. On one hand, the poet doesn't have to closely obey any specific rules about syllables or rhymes and what not. It's a regular...

Speaker

Our speaker is a deep thinker—an observer of the world. She says things like "The loud voice is famous to silence" (2), and that seems pretty deep to us. No matter what she says, she blows our mi...

Setting

We like to imagine a film version of "Famous" in which every line corresponds to a scene in a slow-moving montage set to some Zen music for meditation. We open into the murky waters of a fast-rushi...

Sound Check

This poem sounds like a dictionary—or maybe more like what we sound like when we don't have a dictionary close by. No, really. You know how when you know what a word means but you can't figure ou...

What's Up With the Title?

We don't think Nye spent a lot of time coming up with the title to this one. For one thing, it pretty simply tells us what the topic of the poem is. She also uses the word famous a total of fourtee...

Calling Card

Nye is famous—sorry, we couldn't resist—for writing poems about ordinary objects and events, which she approaches from an unexpected angle. In fact, Nye revealed that, for her, "the primary sou...

Tough-o-Meter

The language is pretty simple, and Nye does us a favor by using lots of real life examples that are easy for us to imagine. On the other hand, though, with every stanza our focus shifts and the def...

Trivia

When her twentieth birthday rolled around, Nye was so down in the dumps she just couldn't bring herself to have any fun. So who'd she call? None other than Stella, Jack Kerouac's widow. Apparently...

Steaminess Rating

The erotic climax of 'Famous' occurs in lines 8-9 of the poem, where an idea gets rather cuddly with a bosom. Now, usually we wouldn't consider this a particularly titillating scene, but we like th...
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