RUMI: TWO QUATRAINS ON NIGHT
“Night comes so people can sleep like fish
In black water. Then day.
Some people pick up their tools.
Others become the making itself.”
“Night goes back to where it was.
Everyone returns home sometime.
Night, when you get there,
Tell them how I love you.”
From the collection Unseen Rain: Quatrains of Rumi translated by John Moyne and Coleman Barks Putney, VT: Threshold Books, 1986. The translators note that “in some languages of the Middle East the word for ‘rain’ and the word for ‘grace’ are the same”.
I am very conscious at this time of year not just of darkness, but of a longer night. Here Sufi poet and teacher Rumi evokes qualities of night, suggesting potential forms of relationship with it.