So Much Happiness It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness. With sadness there is something to rub against, a wound to tend with lotion and cloth. When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up, something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change. But happiness floats. It doesn’t need you to hold it down. It doesn’t need anything. Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing, and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way. Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house nd now live over a quarry of noise and dust cannot make you unhappy. Everything has a life of its own, it too could wake up filled with possibilities of coffee cake and ripe peaches, and love even the floor which needs to be swept, the soiled linens and scratched records Since there is no place large enough to contain so much happiness, you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you into everything you touch.
You are not responsible. You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it, and in that way, be known.
This poem really made me think about how much sadness I hold onto when really all I need to do is remember the good things and focus on the positive. In the poem “So Much Happiness”, Naomi Shihab Nye contrasts happiness with sadness. In stanza one, Nye uses metaphoric language to express that sadness can be dealt with and treated. She writes, “a wound to tend with lotion and cloth” (3) and that sadness can be held, like ticket stubs or change. In that line, the repetition of the letter “o” is assonance, and gives you the imagery of a fresh cut being carefully looked after with Band-Aids or large rotective cloth. We may have souvenirs from sadness, much like we would have a scar from a wound. Happiness, on the other hand cannot be held. Any souvenirs do not begin to come close to the actual emotion involved because happiness “doesn’t need anything” (8). With happiness we are bubbly and “wake up filled with possibilities” (16), however when we are sad it makes us look to the past, where as for happiness it does the opposite; it makes us look forward to the future.
Although happiness is only temporary, “and disappears when it wants to” (10), you can choose to be happy even when things don’t look positive – because you can remember the good things, which gives you hope. In the phrase “Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house and now live over a quarry of noise and dust”(12-13), Naomi uses imagery to express these good things. Nye concludes that happiness is too large to be held inside and instead, it radiates into everything that surrounds the happy person.
We can’t take credit for this, just like “the night sky takes no credit for the moon… ” (24-25). Through this simile it illustrates happiness as a glowing orb that lights our way, once again into the future. This poem can be relevant to anyone, for happiness happens, while sadness is something we must take responsibility for. If we let go of sadness instead of radiating it, it will simply end. By showing our happiness, we not only have a better chance of gaining perspective, but shine a light for everyone as well. The Art of Disappearing When they say don’t I know you?
Say no. When they invite you to the party remember what parties are like before answering. Someone telling you in a loud voice they once wrote a poem. Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate. Then reply. If they say we should get together say why? It’s not that you don’t love them anymore. You’re trying to remember something too important to forget. Trees. The monastery bell at twilight. Tell them you have a new project. It will never be finished. When someone recognizes you in a grocery store nod briefly and become a cabbage. When someone you haven’t seen in ten years ppears at the door, don’t start singing him all your new songs. You will never catch up. Walk around feeling like a leaf. Know you could tumble any second. Then decide what to do with your time. This poem was really dark. However, it reminded me of memories that I’ve had before; such as parties and reunions with old friends. It really made me think twice about what may happen if I do such things in the future. In the poem “The Art of Disappearing” Nye talks about different encounters with people from your past and what to do in the situation.
In the second stanza, the lines “Someone telling you in a loud voice they once wrote a poem. Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate. Then reply” (6-9) is simply making the person seem ignorant and obnoxious. The repetition of the letter “a” – assonance – in the words “greasy”(8), “sausage”(8), “balls”(8), “a”(8), “paper”(8), and “plate”(8) unifies the image of big, heart attack causing sausage balls dripping with grease, and depicts why one would not want to read a poem titled that, also implying not to waste your time on someone who would write such a thing. Tying to remember something too important to forget” (13-14) states that the events are of importance and by using words such as “monastery,” it gives it the appearance to be of a greater significance. Monastery, which means to be alone, was used in the line, “The monastery bell at twilight” (15). This particular use of “monastery” adds a deeper effect to what the poet is trying to express as opposed to using a more common synonym such as lonely. By the last stanza, Nye finally ties everything she’s been talking about together. Walk around feeling like a leaf” (24) is a simile which symbolises the weakness and vulnerability that we should feel. “Know you could tumble at any second. Then decide what to do with your time” (25-26). Here Nye’s tone totally changes as she went from warning the reader about different aspects without reason, to then finally wrapping the poem up in a way, which dawns onto the reader why these warnings were being instructed. Naomi’s purpose was now made clear; she was saying that, because a person does not know how long they will live, it is best to live as well as possible and live with caution – this message was the theme.
I connected to this poem because it made me reflect on what has been done in the past and what could be done in the future to ensure a better life. The last stanza’s words captivated me because I have seen how crucial it is to make decisions about what to do with time. An example could simply be with homework; if a paper is due, and instead of writing it you decide to go hangout with friends, it will result in a poorly written paper for the limited amount of time you took to write it.
Cite this Poem Analysis’ by Naomi Shihab Nye
Poem Analysis’ by Naomi Shihab Nye. (2016, Oct 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/poem-analysis-by-naomi-shihab-nye/