Tag: Rumi

we-are-three-9780961891602I am again reading Rumi, We Are Three: Translations by Coleman Barks. Inside the back cover, I find a gift.

I had written a poem there, dated 4.21.1991, and there was also a revision on the facing page, dated 5.28.2002. I smile thinking of that saying, “A Poem is Never Finished, Only Abandoned.” Since I don’t much like the word abandoned, I reconsider.

This poem will not be abandoned, because I find myself working on another revision as my memory of that long ago day becomes vivid:

The Santa Barbara Bird Refuge

A goose stands on one leg at water’s edge;
it’s long neck stretches over a glassy sheen,
and a squat duck on one leg,
pecks under its wings.

Similarities and differences jostle
to make an imprint on my perception.
Feathers ruffle in the wind.

A silver cloud floats across the sky
like a large, slow barge.
The carnival of my mind
shuts down.

And the longing for which I yearn,
bursts into into light
like a golden swan rising up.

A Poem Journal Entry

His, “I see my beauty in you,”
becomes, I see your beauty
in me. I cannot take credit

for those divine tears
shining your eyes;
nor am I the bee
which made your honey.

You are the mirror of humanity
and the dew of longing
that we share.

 

 

 
(c) Gudrun Mouw
April 23, 2015

A Poem

SunsetPaintedCavePoets such as Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson have appealed to me for the metaphysical nature of their work, their innovative use of language and spirit of independence. I admire in Sylvia Plath’s poetry what has been called her “control of intolerable pain.”

Theodore Roethke’s grandfather was a Prussian, as was my maternal grandfather. I was born in the home of my grandparents in East Prussia, and when I met the poet Kenneth Rexroth in the 1970s, he said that my poetry was very “Prussian.” At the time, I didn’t get what he meant by that. However, when I review Roethke’s work, I am still drawn, as I was from the first, by his wry approach to nature as a great clarifying force.

Discovering the mystical poets such  as Kabir and Rumi was very exciting for me. They both have the quality of being refreshingly irreverent and, at the same time, intensely spiritual. I find that these mystical poets’ ability to describe the strange and awesome world of ecstasy to be a continuing source of inspirations.

The Process of Writing