"So Much Happiness"

  • Read the following poem, which talks about happiness.  Then read below to answer the writing prompt.

    "So Much Happiness" By Naomi Shihab Nye

    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
    and 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.


    Writing Prompt:

    In the poem on happiness, the author usese figurative language and descriptive words to convey his or her attitude toward this emotion.

    Write an essay in which you describe the author's perception of happiness.  Include how he or she conveys his/her attitude through figurative language.  Use details and examples from teh poem to support your ideas.