ada limon: the end of poetry

what you should know to be a poet


Enough of osseous and chickadee and sunflower

and snowshoes, maple and seeds, samara and shoot,

enough chiaroscuro, enough of thus and prophecy

and the stoic farmer and faith and our father and tis

of thee, enough of bosom and bud, skin and god

not forgetting and star bodies and frozen birds,

enough of the will to go on and not go on or how

a certain light does a certain thing, enough

of the kneeling and the rising and the looking

inward and the looking up, enough of the gun,

the drama, and the acquaintance’s suicide, the long-lost

letter on the dresser, enough of the longing and

the ego and the obliteration of ego, enough

of the mother and the child and the father and the child

and enough of the pointing to the world, weary

and desperate, enough of the brutal and the border,

enough of can you see me, can you hear me, enough

I am human, enough I am alone and I am desperate,

enough of the animal saving me, enough of the high

water, enough sorrow, enough of the air and its ease,

I am asking you to touch me.


24th Poet Laureate of the United States


be humble like someone held captive

there is one clear truth


Soul guides and

prophets have an innate innocence,

but they are subject to the same consequences

as everyone. If a donkey veers off course, he will be hit

with a stick. If you do wrong, you will be punished. Abu Bakr

said that steadiness is the central virtue. From the

mind’s steadiness comes a right action

which in turn balances the



They asked me

why prophets were given hardships.

I said it helps to have clear indications. And I added

silently to myself, Be more humble like someone

held captive. Bow to the one who

can free you.


Bahauddin, father of Rumi

the drowned book


do good only for the sake of goodness

The Sufi moral is this:

Love another and do not depend

upon his love; and: do good to another

and do not depend upon receiving good

from him; serve another and do not look

for service from him. All you do for another

out of your love and kindness, you should think

that you do, not to that person, but to God. And

if the person returns love for love, goodness

for goodness, service for service, so much

the better. If he does not return it, then

pity him for what he loses; for his

gain is much less than

his loss.


Do not look for thanks

or appreciation for all the good you do to

others, nor use it as a means to stimulate your vanity.

Do all that you consider good for the sake of

goodness, not even for a return

of that from God.


Hazrat Inayat Khan