Poetry

The rubat, the four-line poem, is indigenous to the Persian language, and Rumi is one of the great innovators with the form. There’s a legend about how the quatrain originated. It’s fair day. A poet and his friends are strolling along in the crowd. They stop to watch some children playing a game. A young […]

The Wisdom of Solomon

by Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

The empty-hearted are quick to criticize; a heart filled with understanding values silence. (11:12) Truth is forever; falsehood lasts but a moment. (12:19) Pretending to knowledge reveals your lack of it; admitting ignorance is the beginning of wisdom. (13:7) A closed mind causes strife; an open mind cultivates wisdom. (13:10) True wisdom is self-understanding; fools […]

The Poetry of Thomas Merton

by Thomas Merton

Merton came to embrace the profound relationship that developed between his vocation to the silence of his monastic life and its rich and sacralizing effects on his poetics. Against all expectation and in spite of the persistent efforts of the Catholic Church to silence him in the ’60s, Merton emerged as one of the most […]

The Poet-Saint Kabir

by Joan Greenblatt

Truth cannot be revealed by words. The mute person eating sweets only smiles, the sweetness he cannot express. Kabir, who lived between 1398 and 1448, was one of the great poet-saints of India whose works continue to be sung and quoted by millions of people. Although parts of Kabir’s life are surrounded by legend, it […]

Rama Tirth, the well-known poet-saint from India, was born on October 22, 1873, in the village of Muraliwala, about 60 miles north of Lahore, in what is now Pakistan. At the age of six, his extraordinary brilliance revealed itself. According to the customs of the day, he married at the age of ten and soon […]