by Naomi Shihab Nye
Famous Theme of Community
What is community? Perhaps it is just the place you live: as in "the community pool." But, community should be more than that, right? It is the intentional joining together of people (and objects) because they share something; and, hopefully, what they share is more than a zip code. Community is about belonging, interconnectivity, closeness, at least according to Nye in "Famous."
Questions About Community
- Why is the tear famous to the cheek only briefly? Is the tear only important to the cheek because of how close they are? Once the tear drops to the floor, does it stop being important?
- Are the ideas you carry close to your bosom important because you carry them close to your bosom? Or do you carry them close to your bosom because they are important? In other words, can you make something important by drawing it closer to you? Or do you only bring things close to you that are already important to you?
- Is it better to be very famous to those in your immediate area or to be a bit famous to a larger group of people?
Chew on This
The speaker, who is clearly an adult, demonstrates the interconnectedness of the circle of life by talking about being kind to old men and children.
Nye is pointing out how corrupt our idea of fame is. The people we think of as famous couldn't be farther away from us, and what should really be famous is right close to home.