first mail received there

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.



i have come to e-know so many people through blogs, each (you know who you are) famous to me in their own way. two women are particularly famous tonight because not only did they not forget what they could do, they took action and did it!

julie and laney are sweet, empathetic, generous souls who read my whines about threadless days i’m enduring as we move, and they each put together a care package and mailed it to me.

from julie:


and from laney:


from both: delicious fabrics in a variety of colors and textures, needles, thread, scissors, batting, paper and colored pencils, several downright thought-provoking morsels – everything i need to satisfy my itching hands, soothe my soul, and stoke my inquiring mind.

thank you both, for your thoughtful, caring generosity. i will have sweet, sweet dreams tonight as visions of stitching plums dance in my head . . .


6 Responses to first mail received there

  1. Laney says:

    Thank you so much Jeanne for your beautiful thank you. I LOVE the poem, what a find. I’m so glad you shared it. It has such wonderful imagery, my favorite was “sticky children in grocery lines”. Thank you for beginning my day with such a beautiful poem and sweet images. Happy stitching!

  2. hi laney. that poem is special (or famous) to me because it has the power to thunk me on the head and help me revision when i need it most.

  3. jude says:

    i did think about it. does that make me half famous?

  4. Acey says:

    started gathering things and the cat with the profound emotional problems threw up all over them. from there it was just one thing after another so i will definitely have to go with being ‘the unknown soldier’ …

  5. shoot, jude. you, famous? you’re only the rock star of quilt blogs.

    acey, you’re not the unknown soldier – not to me. unsung, maybe, but never unknown. besides, i know firsthand how cats with profound emotional problems throw up on anything that appears to be distracting attention from them.

    xoxxx to both of you from moi.

  6. Love the poem ~ a pulley or buttonhole in life… marvelous images and thought lines linger.

    So glad you are enjoying your care packages (tangible or virtual).

Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.