napowrimo #26: let's get metaphysical

by Christine Swint

It’s our day to shine the light of our awareness on our inner selves, and maybe even ask some questions about what exists in our deepest hearts. Whenever I’m in the mood to think about the big questions, like where I came from or where I’ll be going, I turn to the poetry of Rumi and Hafiz. These two Persian poets are examples of mystics who wrote about their interior lives in respect to something greater than themselves.

One of the more well-known contemporary translators of Rumi’s poetry into English is Coleman Barks. Here is a link to one of his translations, “What Was Told, That.”

And here’s the first stanza of the poem:

What was said to the rose that made it open was said
to me here in my chest.

Rumi was a medieval psychonaut who explored his connection to the universe by diving inward. Today, if you like, read “What Was Told, That,” and then write a poem in response.

Or, you can try responding to a poem by Hafiz. Daniel Ladinsky has translated “The Woman I Love,” by Hafiz. Read this poem, and write your own love poem to whatever you find when you look deeply into your own heart.

* * *

A note from “admin”: This month, since we’re all trying to write every day, we’re leaving the comments open with each prompt so you can post links to your poems as you write them. So, go ahead and write your poem, post your poem (with a link to Read Write Poem and a Read Write Poem tag, if you would) and come back to this very spot and share your link with us.

Of course, if you’re a creature of habit, you can always post your links at this week’s “Get Your Poem On” post. Who are we to mess around with what works for you?

And don’t forget to go read the poems of others in this wonderful writing community. We’re all in this NaPoWriMo “mess” (ha ha!) together; let’s support each other in the insanity that is writing (every day)!

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37 comments to napowrimo #26: let’s get metaphysical

read write poem news

  • read write poem napowrimo anthology
    June 20, 2010 | 1:36 pm

    The Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Anthology is still in production. Selection, placement, layout and copyediting are taking longer than anticipated. Thank you for your patience. I hope to have the piece completed in July. For those who have emailed asking if they can be included, the May 7 deadline for submission of work stands. Those who met that deadline will be included. Please check the post on this site listing who I received submissions from by that date. If you submitted your work by the May 7 deadline in accordance with our guidelines and your name is not listed, send an email to info (at) readwritepoem (dot) org.

  • read write poem napowrimo anthology
    May 5, 2010 | 3:09 pm

    Remember that Friday* is the deadline for submitting work to the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Anthology. Check out the guidelines for submission in the main column (to the left). On May 8, we’ll post a news item listing everyone we’ve received work from. If you submitted work and your name is not on that list, please let us know. Thanks!

    *I initially said “tomorrow,” but I meant to say “Friday.”

  • napowrimo congratulations, and a reminder
    April 24, 2010 | 12:05 pm

    It’s the final week of the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Challenge! Just 7 days left. With that, a reminder that Read Write Poem will culminate with the anthology featuring work from those who complete the challenge. A post with details for submitting to the anthology will be published May 1. Be sure you remove any information from the site that you want preserved — such as group content and personal messages. Those elements of the site will be removed May 1 as well. The main site will remain up as an archive.

  • ‘underlife’ tour at january gill o’neil’s blog
    April 20, 2010 | 8:11 pm

    January Gill O’Neil’s virtual book tour has moved to her site and is underway now. Check out the lineup at Poet Mom.

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