121: A Room of Her Own
I'm US poet laureate, Tracy case Smith, and this is the slowdown. What's your sense of thirteenth century, poet and sufi mystic Rumi? Do you have a favorite roomy poem or passage or do you resist his brand of quotable wisdom while it's in my nature to resist the things. Everyone loves I to enjoy roomy because he seemed tuned in to something powerful reading him existence. Almost turns inside out making a new and better kind of sense. Here's a little snippet of Rumi your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It took me nearly twenty years of trying and failing at love for that bit of advice to make sense. Maybe if I didn't count it at eighteen things would have been different though, I suspect it is only the frustration of repeated failure that makes a person receptive to new approaches. I think I've finally learned some of the lessons love has to teach me, but this advise doesn't seem obsolete. Even if I don't feel like it's love, I'm seeking. I can try replacing the word love with something else. Like say happiness. Your task is not to seek for happiness, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. And suddenly, I find myself envisioning what I want not as some distant possibility. But rather something available to me if only I can recognize what's keeping me from being able to receive it. I think today's. Poem a room of her own by Ming? D depicts a woman coming to a similar kind of realization a woman who feels trapped in the life. She has created for herself she tries to fix things. But her changes recreate the circumstances of her unhappiness, how easy it is to recognize such patterns in the lives of others. The poem speaker watches the woman and understands what the two of them share. She recognizes herself struggling in a similar self made confinement. And then a way out becomes clear away out for both the woman in the scene and the one outside the scene watching as if her own life were depicted there. A room of her own by Ming day. She never knew love made for such cold winters. She hides in the room. She painted for herself tuning listening as music spreads pain. Like spider webs down her legs. She walks from one corner to another the room grows. Bright with sunlight or moon stabbing. Her with needles. She paints a wall erases paints, again erases a wall grows like leaves emerging in winter she wants to paint a wall around the wall to guard a memory, then paint flowers and birds mountains and oceans a wave swirls around like a wreath circle. Up entangling her. I see myself in that room struggling paint a window. I tell her a window that leads to the sky paint a sky. Translated by main de with Sylvia, burn and Katie Farris. The slowdown is a production of American public media in partnership with the library of congress and the poetry foundation. To get a poem delivered to you daily. Go to slow down show dot org and sign up for our newsletter.