Monday, April 20, 2020

Poetry Month #20: The Tent by Rumi

Click here to listen.
A lifetime ago (January, 2011), I spent a blog month honoring two men separated by centuries: the poet Rumi and the translator Coleman Barks. Each transcendental in their own ways.

The words of Rumi and the voice of Coleman Barks combine into a mystical experience that never grows old. Almost a decade later, one of the poems in that series is still the most popular post on this blog. (What was said to the rose)


This poem, however, was not included in that series and I was shocked to discover its almost eerie understanding of this time of crisis. While it is not read by Barks, it is a good reading with lovely images accompanying a powerful message for this time.

 The Tent 
by Rumi

Outside, the freezing desert night,
This other night inside grows warm, kindling.
Let the landscape be covered with thorny crust.
We have a soft garden in here.

The continents blasted,
cities and little towns, everything
become a scorched, blackened ball.

The news we hear is full of grief for that future,
but the real news inside here
is there's no news at all.

Friend, our closeness is this:
anywhere you put your foot, feel me
in the firmness under you.

How is it with this love,
I see your world and not you?

Listen to presences inside poems,
Let them take you where they will.

Follow those private hints,
and never leave the premises.

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