Category: Lead Poems

Henry David Thoreau – Indeed, indeed, I cannot tell

Henry David Thoreau – Indeed, indeed, I cannot tell

Indeed, indeed, I cannot tell, Though I ponder on it well, Which were easier to state, All my love or all my hate. Surely, surely, thou wilt trust me When I say thou dost disgust me. O, I hate thee with a hate That would fain annihilate; Yet sometimes against...

Hafiz – A Suspended Blue Ocean

Hafiz – A Suspended Blue Ocean

The sky Is a suspended blue ocean. The stars are the fish That swim. The planets are the white whales I sometimes hitch a ride on, And the sun and all light Have forever fused themselves Into my heart and upon My skin. There is only one rule On this...

Henry David – Thoreau Pray to What Earth

Henry David – Thoreau Pray to What Earth

Pray to what earth does this sweet cold belong, Which asks no duties and no conscience? The moon goes up by leaps, her cheerful path In some far summer stratum of the sky, While stars with their cold shine bedot her way. The fields gleam mildly back upon the sky,...

Hafiz – The Corner of The Tavern Is My Altar

Hafiz – The Corner of The Tavern Is My Altar

The corner of the tavern is my altar, where I pray At dawn, the mantra of the Old Magi, I say. Fear not if the harp plays not at sun’s morning ascent My morning cry of repentance is the music I play. Thank God, free from beggars and kings, away,...

Wislawa Szymborska – Some People

Wislawa Szymborska – Some People

Some people fleeing some other people.  In some country under the sun  and some clouds.  They leave behind some of their everything,  sown fields, some chickens, dogs,  mirrors in which fire now sees itself reflected.  On their backs are pitchers and bundles,  the emptier, the heavier from one day to...

Jalaluddin Rumi – How did you get away?

Jalaluddin Rumi – How did you get away?

How did you get away? You were the pet falcon of an old woman. Did you hear the falcon-drum? You were a drunken songbird put in with owls. Did you smell the odor of a garden? You got tired of sour fermenting and left the tavern. You went like an...

Rudyard Kipling – The Answer

Rudyard Kipling – The Answer

A Rose, in tatters on the garden path, Cried out to God and murmured ‘gainst His Wrath, Because a sudden wind at twilight’s hush Had snapped her stem alone of all the bush. And God, Who hears both sun-dried dust and sun, Had pity, whispering to that luckless one, “Sister,...

Jalaluddin Rumi – Reality And Appearance

Jalaluddin Rumi – Reality And Appearance

‘Tis light makes colour visible: at night Red, greene, and russet vanish from thy sight. So to thee light by darness is made known: Since God hat none, He, seeing all, denies Himself eternally to mortal eyes. From the dark jungle as a tiger bright, Form from the viewless Spirit...

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Loss and Gain

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Loss and Gain

Virtue runs before the muse And defies her skill, She is rapt, and doth refuse To wait a painter’s will. Star-adoring, occupied, Virtue cannot bend her, Just to please a poet’s pride, To parade her splendor. The bard must be with good intent No more his, but hers, Throw away...

Muhyiddin ibn Arabi – As Night Let its Curtains Down in Folds

Muhyiddin ibn Arabi – As Night Let its Curtains Down in Folds

Peace, Salma, and peace to those who halt awhile at al-Hima. It is right for one like me to greet you. Would it have hurt her to return the greeting? Ah, but a statuette goddess is beyond control. They left as night let its curtains down in folds. I told...

Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi – My Heart Has Become Able

Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi – My Heart Has Become Able

My heart has become able To take on all forms. It is a pasture for gazelles, For monks an abbey. It is a temple for idols And for whoever circumambulates it, the Kaaba. It is the tablets of the Torah And also the leaves of the Koran. I believe in...

Walt Whitman – Weave in, My Hardy Life

Walt Whitman – Weave in, My Hardy Life

Weave in, weave in, my hardy life, Weave yet a soldier strong and full for great campaigns to come, Weave in red blood, weave sinews in like ropes, the senses, sight weave in, Weave lasting sure, weave day and night the weft, the warp, incessant weave, tire not, (We know...

Ralph Waldo Emerson  –  The Visit

Ralph Waldo Emerson – The Visit

Askest “How long thou shall stay?” Devastator of the day! Know, each substance and relation Thorough nature’s operation, Hath its unit, bound, and metre, And every new compound Is some product and repeater, Product of the early found. But the unit of the visit, The encounter of the wise, Say...

Jalaluddin Rumi  –  I am part of the load

Jalaluddin Rumi – I am part of the load

I am part of the load Not rightly balanced I drop off in the grass, like the old Cave-sleepers, to browse wherever I fall. For hundreds of thousands of years I have been dust-grains floating and flying in the will of the air,  often forgetting ever being in that state,...

Walt Whitman – Shut Not Your Doors to Me Proud Libraries

Walt Whitman – Shut Not Your Doors to Me Proud Libraries

Shut not your doors to me, proud libraries, For that which was lacking among you all, yet needed most, I bring; A book I have made for your dear sake, O soldiers, And for you, O soul of man, and you, love of comrades; The words of my book nothing,...

Ibn Araby – The hand of trial

Ibn Araby – The hand of trial

I wonder at the house He has built and shaped, placing therein a noble spirit, putting it to the trial. He destroyed it utterly, as if He had not built it. Who can put it together for me, who can make it last? He knew full well what He had...

Walt Whitman । Song of the Open Road, I

Walt Whitman । Song of the Open Road, I

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.  Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune, Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous...

Jalaluddin Rumi । The Breeze at Dawn

Jalaluddin Rumi । The Breeze at Dawn

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back...

Rudyard Kipling । Cities and Thrones and Powers

Rudyard Kipling । Cities and Thrones and Powers

Cities and Thrones and Powers, Stand in Time’s eye, Almost as long as flowers, Which daily die: But, as new buds put forth, To glad new men, Out of the spent and unconsidered Earth, The Cities rise again. This season’s Daffodil, She never hears What change, what chance, what chill,...

Ibn Arabi An । Ocean without Shore

Ibn Arabi An । Ocean without Shore

I marveled at an Ocean without shore, and at a Shore that did not have an ocean; And at a Morning Light without darkness, and at a Night that was without daybreak; And then a Sphere with no locality known to either fool or learned scholar; And at an azure...