Friday, March 28, 2008

The Guesthouse by Rumi

This week, a little wisdom from the great Persian poet Rumi.

The Guesthouse

This being human is a guesthouse
Every morning a new arrival
A joy, a depression, a meanness
Some momentary awareness
Comes as an unexpected visitor

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows
Who violently sweep your house
Empty of its furniture
Still treat each guest honorably
He may be cleaning you out
For some new delight!

The dark thought, the shame, the malice
Meet them at the door laughing
And invite them in
Be grateful for whoever comes
Because each has been sent
As a guide from the beyond

Translated by Coleman Barks

Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi) was a 13th century Persian muslim poet, jurist, and theologian. His name literally means "Majesty of Religion". He was born in Balkh (now part of Afghanistan) and died in present-day Turkey. His works are widely read in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and are in translation in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the U.S., and South Asia. He lived most of his life in, and produced his works under, the Seljuk Empire. Rumi's importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders.


Blogger Tanna said...

Was Coleman Barks the translator?

9:20 AM  
Blogger Governor David Patterson said...

He was--just added.


9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just the poem I needed today. Thanks.

Ellen in Lawrence, KS

10:36 AM  
Blogger Muaile said...

Sigh...that was lovely...

12:18 PM  
Blogger Brattknee Spheres said...


12:39 PM  
Anonymous Daniel D'uwa said...

This piece captures the moment, especially globally but more specifically in my country Kenya...


Daniel D'uwa in Nairobi

1:01 PM  
Blogger Brett said...


1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumi wan't persian poet. he is Turkish poet.

1:10 PM  
Blogger luckysanjana said...

I am a Khalil Gibran fan and im writing a translation of his poems which i hope to publish some day. some times i post these translations on my windows blog. some once commented that Khalil had a lot in common with Rumi, now i know why.

1:23 PM  

A really wonderful piece of literature
Love your blog

1:41 PM  
Blogger jmesic said...

thats dumb

2:31 PM  
Blogger oliver said...

2:33 PM  
Blogger Dwight said...

You're right, in part. Rumi was born in what's now Tajikistan and settled in Turkey. Both were part of the Persian Empire then.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Dina said...

Such memorable and true images. I'll remember this poem next time I try too much to be the guestmaster.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Steven Lioy said...

I read this and thought it had to be from eastern thought though I found out it was not. The idea of one extreme leading to the complete opposite has much to do with Taoism,the Tao Te Cheng. But Muslim huh.
~Steve Lioy

6:49 PM  
Blogger Azita said...

Great poem!
Thank you for the poem and the summary.
I like your blog.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Hessam said...

im a student of preuniversity from iran. i interest in this post. i know
Molana because we have most of his poems in our school books.
my blog is:
but it is in Farsi not English.
Hamed, from Iran, Khorasan, Neyshabour

2:55 PM  
Blogger Tania said...

Wow, what a wonderful piece of work. Thanks for sharing.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Doctor of Manliness said...

Very nice, thanks for sharing.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wisdom. Great wisdom.

4:57 PM  
Blogger A. said...

What a beautiful insightful poem. Thanks for sharing it.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous harshit said...

sir ,great research n good work;
would like to be ur fan;
even im a poet but not of ur standards;
may be we can hav chat some day
with rgds;

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Nicole24 said...

مرحبا ،
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3:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really liked your poem

5:54 AM  
Blogger Ali Al Axdiri said...

A great idea must be this one, to give us poems like this one... i apreciate that there are people like you to give us figures as Jalal Eddine Rumi, and what could be the next? the great Omar Khiam?! in the future. Bravo editors of this smart Blog called Dwight. I wish you to go as far as you can.

9:34 AM  
Blogger sedo666 said...

Hi is not a persian or iranian not or arabic , He is a turkish and his most of life in a city in middle of turkey called Konya, persians like war, fight like today, but he is really peacefull


5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its nice one.its a great way to consider house as a human soul..

2:50 AM  
Blogger Trogloditicus said...

Illl make room for rumination

9:23 AM  
Blogger Chandini said...

Rumi is a turkish poet who lived during the Ottoman empire. Some of the background of his poems are echoed in Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk's great piece of work, 'My Name is Red.'

My poems which have won great accolades and some can be found on my blog.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This pem expresses the atitude to a guest one sees i "Mi Casa su casa" which I stromgly support.

4:11 PM  
Blogger danger said...

that was a beautiful poem

thank you for the post

9:47 PM  
Blogger ummuhanissa said...

Wow! Thank you for this one.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Adi Mahacita said...

Viva Rumi

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Zaheer said...

This man had a lovely insight of life...

2:19 AM  
Blogger J.F. said...

He wrote in the Persian language, that's why he's called a Persian poet. Language has got a great deal more to do with poetry than national borders in the 13th century. And he was a Sufi, a mystic sect of Islam, from which his poetry is drawn -- which is why it might look seem like "eastern thought."

6:36 PM  
Blogger PhemieAglaia said...

I agree with the last post, about him being Sufi and a Mystic. That's a lot more important than Persian vs. Turkish! Also, I love Rumi!! He's my favorite poet of all time. Even though I am Christian, his words translate easily to my beliefs. This poem was lovely and very timely. Ironically, my best friend broke up with her boyfriend a few hours ago and I've just sent her this poem to comfort her! Thank you for posting it!

I enjoyed the poem,
(yes, originally Turkey was Lydia! are you going to start an argument that he was actually Lydian now?)

11:19 PM  
Blogger Stardust said...

This is a great post. Thanks so much for sharing. The poet is so full of wisdom.

1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like your idea of posting poems on your blog..very innovative

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Please keep up the good work and maybe others will enjoy it as much as i now do......
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