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Fame, is it the same for all things? In Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Famous”, she defines the word in her own way. In the implied definition, famous is something that is associated or familiar to a person, place or thing. The concept of fame according to popular culture is a little different. It is more along the lines of something or someone that is celebrated or distinguished for a certain act or function. Therefore the word famous is mostly reserved for celebrities and landmarks. Nye, throughout the poem, gives many examples of ordinary everyday things that are famous to one another. These examples are familiar to each other because of the function and association with a certain event or task. Some of them work hand and hand together, some of them require one another for survival, and some are just famous to one another because of their function. To the popular culture, many of these examples are not famous to everyday people, but are famous to the objects with which they are associated with.
The opening line of this poem is “The river is famous to the fish” (Nye line 1). With that line Nye sets the tone, opinion, and definition of the whole poem. A fish lives in and needs the river to survive. The river is familiar to the fish, because it is the environment in which it spends its life.
Watching a television program brings about familiarity to a person. After seeing a person or place repeatedly on television, they become familiar to the viewer. Just as “The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds watching him from the birdhouse” (Nye 5-6). The cat is familiar to birds. He is not exactly celebrated, but is very well known. The birds constantly watch the cat, so it he becomes famous to them. Famous in the same way a television star becomes famous to a viewer.
Articles of clothing can also be famous. A tie is famous to a suit because it is worn and associated with a suit. It is not ...
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