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Three poems

I'm going to post links to 3 of my favorite poems first, then discuss them together in another post.

First, a beautiful poem by Rumi from the Mathnawi: (source: http://www.flutopedia.com/lit_rumi.htm)


Listen to the story told by the reed, of being separated.

“Since I was cut from the reedbed, I have made this crying sound.

Anyone apart from someone he loves understands what I say.


Anyone pulled from a source longs to go back.


At any gathering I am there, mingling in the laughing and grieving,


a friend to each, but few will hear the secrets hidden


within the notes. No ears for that. Body flowing out of spirit,


spirit up from body: no concealing that mixing. But it's not given us


to see the soul. The reed flute is fire, not wind. Be that empty.”


Hear the love fire tangled in the reed notes, as bewilderment


melts into wine. The reed is a friend to all who want the fabric torn


and drawn away. The reed is hurt and salve combining. Intimacy


and longing for intimacy, one song. A disastrous surrender


and a fine love, together. The one who secretly hears this is senseless.


A tongue has one customer, the ear. A sugarcane flute has such effect


because it was able to make sugar in the reedbed. The sound it makes


is for everyone. Days full of wanting, let them go by without worrying


that they do. Stay where you are inside sure a pure, hollow note.


Every thirst gets satisfied except that of these fish, the mystics,


who swim a vast ocean of grace still somehow longing for it!


No one lives in that without being nourished every day.


But if someone doesn't want to hear the song of the reed flute,


it's best to cut conversation short, say good-bye, and leave.



The second poem is "To Drink," or "Drinking" by Gabriela Mistral.

There are a number of good translations of this poem. This is not my favorite, but because of copyright issues, I generally only post what I can find online:

POETRYFOUNDATION.ORG Drinking by Gabriela Mistral

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower by Dylan Thomas


The force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees Is my destroyer. And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.


The force that drives the water through the rocks Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams Turns mine to wax. And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.


The hand that whirls the water in the pool Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind Hauls my shroud sail. And I am dumb to tell the hanging man How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.


The lips of time leech to the fountain head; Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood Shall calm her sores. And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.


And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.



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