Bookworm Edition: The Soul of Poetry.

“There is some kiss we want with
our whole lives, the touch of
spirit on the body. Seawater
begs the pearl to break its shell.”

It was a strange place to be introduced to Rumi, although the setting perfectly matched. It was pieces of poetry etched into the walls of an amphitheatre at Malandela’s Restaurant in the Kingdom of Eswatini (back then, known as Swaziland). The words were so beautiful that I scribbled them in a book and reminded myself to find out more about the poet.

I was not a great fan of poetry, not in the same way that I loved novels or books. I loved the idea of poetry and I had favourite poems, but it was not something I ever provided time to learn about. Until that day. As soon as I could, I googled the poem, read up on the poet and before I knew it went down a rabbit hole.

“And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild darling! At
night, I open the window and ask
the moon to come and press its
face against mine.”

My appreciation for poetry has grown and given that Rumi’s work is being continually found and discovered and unearthed, it’s even more exciting. As I read through his poems, he reminds me that life is so unpredictable. Through his poetry, he attempts to answer questions about life, and in his words, I feel his struggle with the paradoxes we face. What grips me though is that his poetry seems to go beyond the personal, the life, and it speaks to our souls.

I use his poetry to remind myself that life is as simple or as complicated as we make it. I use his poetry to remind myself that there is more to our beings than just our bodies; that we have souls and spirits that are peaceful or restless depending on our actions. I use his poetry to remind myself that we’re humans, who will make mistakes, who will learn or unlearn each day. We will lose and we will win. We will become attached and detached. Each day, each minute, nowadays each second is different and brings unknowns closer. His poetry allows me to embrace these unknowns and reminds me that we’re not alone.

“Breathe into me.
Close the language-door and
open the love-window. The moon
won’t use the door, only the window.”

– Some Kiss We Want. From the book, “The Soul of Rumi” translated by Coleman Barks

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