Poem in Your Pocket: Rumi’s “The Guest House”

It’s “Poem in Your Pocket Day

Share a favorite poem
Share a favorite poem

The idea is to choose a favorite poem and share it with others throughout the day.  (#pocketpoem, if you’re sharing via social media)

Here’s the poem I’ll be carrying in my pocket today:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
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 clearing 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 whatever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

—Jelalludin Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne
The Essential Rumi

What poem will you choose?

April 24 is “Poem in Your Pocket Day”

Share a favorite poem
Share a favorite poem

As you know, April is National Poetry Month. One of my favorite programs is “Poem in Your Pocket Day.” The idea is to put a favorite poem in your pocket, carry it with you through the day, and share it with others.  (If you’re social media-inclined, you can also share on Facebook or Twitter, of course, with the hashtag #pocketpoem.)

But I really like the idea of sharing the poem person-to-person. So, this Thursday, April 24, I’ll carry a copy of Stanley Kunitz’s “The Layers” with me, and read it to my co-workers and friends throughout the day.

What poem will you choose? Where and to whom will you read it?