Eating Poetry

Peace, one and all…

My poems resemble the bread of Egypt – one
night
passes over it, and you can’t eat it anymore.

So gobble them down now, while they’re still
fresh,
before the dust of the world settles on them.

Where a poem belongs is here, in the warmth of
the chest:
out in the world it dies of cold.

You’ve seen a fish – put him on dry land,
he quivers for a few minutes, and then is still.

And even if you eat my poems while they’re still
fresh,
you still have to bring forward many images
yourself.

Actually, friend, what you’re eating is your own
imagination.
These are not just a bunch of old proverbs.

(Mevlana, Ghazal, trans Robert Bly)

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