Monday, January 4, 2010

The Guest House

Rumi, born in 1207 in Persia, poet, theologian and sufi mystic was writing in Presian. He has been described as the "most popular poet in America" in 2007. I stumbled upon his name like I usually do, listening to the radio, or checking something on the web. I feel compelled to share one of his poems.


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 are 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.

-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
 translation by Coleman Barks


  1. They are even more beautiful in Urdu (my language) and Persian. I enjoyed his poems ages ago, when I was in University.

  2. I can only imagine how beautiful they are in original language. The rhythm and melody of the words are certainly lost in translation. And we can only hope that most of the meaning is still there.