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Unseen Rain: Jon Minton

Taken from Unseen Rain, Quatrains of Rumi, translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks, published by Threshold Books.

Read by Jon Minton, a theatre student at UAA. Jon is the coordinator of Poetry Parley at Out North, a monthly poetry reading that occurs on the Third Wednesday of every month. He is also a director for Alaska Theatre of Youth, directing their production of The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Rumi lived most of his life in Turkey during the 13th century. He wrote short poems, several of which have been translated by John Moyne  and Coleman Barks in the book Unseen Rain. In one, he advises us to "Listen to presences inside poems. Let them take you where they will." Here are some selections, taken in no particular order:

"I have lived on the lip
of insanity, wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door. It opens.
I've been knocking from the inside!"

"I pretended to leap
to see if I could live there.
Someday I must actually arrive there,
or nothing will be left to arrive."

"Don't let your throat tighten
with fear. Take sips of breath
all day and night. Before death
closes your mouth."

"My ego is stubborn, often drunk, impolite.
My loving: Finely sensitive, impatient, confused.
Please take messages from one to the other,
Reply and counter-reply."

"Begin as creation, become a creator.
Never wait at a barrier.
In this kitchen stocked with fresh food,
why sit content with a cup of warm water?"