THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY

THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
April 12, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2011

Poetry Friday: Love Dogs

This week, I have been reading The Essential Rumi: Translations by Coleman Barks.


His poem, "The Gift of Water," is wonderful for writers -- or anyone who is feeling stuck. (See my post on the poem here, and the strange experience I had the following day.)

Today's Rumi poem works on many levels. You might find spirituality here, or you might recognize the connection with a dog you love.

This is Sam (full name: Samwise McBarkBark Shovan).

Sam is my 11-year-old daughter's favorite photographic model.

We adopted Sam from a local Schnauzer rescue nearly three years ago. He truly is my Love Dog, often calling me to sit with him when I'm feeling stressed. When the children are in school, and I have a long, lonely day of writing and editing at home, Sam is my buddy.

Sam found a fledgling robin in our yard this spring. They made friends.

Here is Coleman Barks reading Rumi's "Love Dogs."



So many children find comfort in their animal companions. A sad child might find comfort in this poem, too. Here are the last few stanzas of Rumi's "Love Dogs":


The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.


Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.


Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.


There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.


Give your life
to be one of them.

There is a book of poems for children on this subject, This Place I Know, selected by Georgia Heard.


Today's host is wonderful April Halprin Wayland at Teaching Authors, who knows much about the power of poetry to comfort.

Soon after I finished writing this post, I learned that poet Deborah Edelman passed away yesterday morning. Deborah was a member of our tight literary community here in Maryland and a contributor to Life in Me Like Grass on Fire: Love Poems. "The grief you cry out of draws you toward union."

8 comments:

April Halprin Wayland said...

Hi,Laura ~ I love the Coleman Barks is reading a poem that involves dogs! I like the quiet music behind and the way he reads with such confidence.

Thank you for always inspiring.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

It's wonderful to see Rumi this evening. I just gave a short talk on folktales (presently in Mumbai for a children's lit conference) - and I started by citing from Rumi's "when you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you a joy. "

Author Amok said...

April -- this is going to sound funny, but it is amazing the way Barks breathes through these poems. It gives me time to absorb and think.

Myra, that's a beautiful quote. Lovely to hear from you from Mumbai.

Tabatha said...

What a fine looking dog Samwise is! He must be excellent company for you.
I am a sucker for book covers, and I love the one for This Place I Know. I didn't know her, but I'm sorry to hear about Deborah Edelman.

Lisa said...

Love Rumi, love "The Gift of Water" (and your bit of synchronicity surrounding it!), and who doesn't love the puppies of the world! Thanks for sharing all this today.

Robyn Hood Black said...

Laura,
Love the Rumi poem, the dog, the reading, your thoughts - all of it! I had highlighted the lines from the other post:

You knock at the door of reality,
shake your thought-wings, loosen
your shoulders,
and open.


and then found these opening your wonderful post about your dream. I had a recent dream with two red cars and hadn't quite figured out what to "do" with it - so I just decided it meant I needed to buy one of your books. I just ordered Mountain, Log, Salt and Stone, and I look forward to reading it on the couch with my dog. ;0)

Mary Lee said...

That "give your life to be one of them" reminds me of Sara Teasdale in "Barter": "...and for a breath of ecstasy, give all you have been, or could be."

And "the grief you cry out from/draws you toward union"...so true that the way we connect to others is the same way we connect to whatever we choose to call the Power of the Universe (Allah, or otherwise...)

Condolences on the loss of your writer-friend.

Author Amok said...

Thanks, everyone. I'm honored with all of the positive responses I've had on these posts, particularly "Walking through the Door of Reality."

Robyn -- thanks so much. I hope you find some poems in the book that speak to you.