For me, hardly a day goes by without the sounds and lyrics of Van Morrison. Unlike Bob Dylan, Morrison will not likely receive a nomination for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Dylan received this award in 2016 and the Swedish Academy noted why “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”  Morrison in my estimation comes a close second for his own poetic expression and creative blend of music from so many traditions. In his song “Fame will eat the soul” he explores the downside of becoming in the eyes of many “famous”. Fame will eat the soul got to stay in your mansion, you can’t take any chances even when you’re outside. Have to build a wall around you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YldrKyWbg-Y But there is a very different kind of famous, a better famous, a human famous, in the words of poet 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.

Lord God,
help me to hear your words,
the first shall be last and
the last shall be first.
to hear again and again
it is easier for a camel
to go through the eye of a needle,
than for a rich man to enter
into the kingdom of heaven.
to hear again and again and again
Which one was a neighbor?
The one who showed mercy
Go and do likewise.
Lord God,
Teach me to be famous
like a button hole
so I never forget what I can do. Amen.

One thought on “Famous

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: