Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Just-Finishing Candle

Study Head of a Woman, by Jean Baptiste Greuze

A candle is made to become entirely flame.
In that annihilating moment
it has no shadow.

It is nothing but a tongue of light
describing a refuge.

Look at this
just-finishing candle stub
as someone who is finally safe
from virtue and vice,

the pride and the shame
we claim from those.

3 comments:

Elisabeth said...

Pride and shame Ruth, such contrasting bedfellows, the one follows the other. Human nature - and all I can see now in my mind's eye is the flame as it dies.

distracted by shiny objects said...

I love this blog so much Hubby bought me the book for Christmas. Love your visual interpretations to see the poems through another window. Happy New Year!!!

Ruth said...

Elisabeth, I find that just when I think I have Rumi down, he responds with another verse with an opposing concept. After reading so many poems now, it is finally sinking in: we are whole, made up of dark and light, yin and yang, pride and shame, etc.

Distracted, that is so great! There is something special about having the book. I'm glad you like the image pairings. Mostly I enjoy that process, sometimes I am overly challenged by it, but it has been a good way for me to explore my own response to Rumi's words more. Happy New Year!