A Poem for the Week

With balmy sunshine today, we head into the week of the spring equinox. To celebrate the budding and blossoming, I bring you a poem by the Whirling Dervish Sufi, Rumi (1207-73). In his ecstatic, dancing lines, he often celebrates love and the natural world. This poem, “Spring,” is no exception.

Rumi leans heavily on personification in this poem, inviting us to see the violet bowing, the rose tearing off her gown, the “breeze up to some new foolishness,” the hyacinth and jasmine exchanging a generous peaceful greeting, the bud feeling shy,  “a mischievous wind removing the bud’s veil,” and more…

A spring panorama unfolds before our eyes as we read, and Rumi closes by reminding us that “a spring-source rises under everything…” and we can be in that space, feeling the spring, leaving some things unsaid, for “whatever conversation we haven’t had/ tonight, we’ll have tomorrow.”

The American poet, Coleman Barks, has translated much of Rumi’s work. This poem is from Barks’ collection of translations entitled The Essential Rumi.

The photograph this week is jasmine blooming in our yard right now. I wish I could share the scent with you! Happy Spring.

Again, the violet bows to the lily.
Again, the rose is tearing off her gown!

The green ones have come from the other world,
tipsy like the breeze up to some new foolishness.

Again, near the top of the mountain
the anemone’s sweet features appear.

The hyacinth speaks formally to the jasmine,
“Peace be with you.” “And peace to you, lad!
Come walk with me in this meadow.”

Again, there are sufis everywhere!

The bud is shy, but the wind removes
her veil suddenly, “My friend!”

The Friend is here like water in the stream,
like a lotus on the water.

The narcissus winks at the wisteria,
“Whenever you say.”

And the clove to the willow, “You are the one
I hope for.” The willow replies, “Consider
these chambers of mine yours. Welcome!”

Again, the season of Spring has come
and a spring-source rises under everything,
a moon sliding from the shadows.

Many things must be left unsaid, because it’s late,
but whatever conversation we haven’t had
tonight, we’ll have tomorrow.



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