poem of the day: Ramadan by Kazim Ali


Kazim Ali 

You wanted to be so hungry, you would break into branches,

and have to choose between the starving month’s


nineteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-third evenings.

The liturgy begins to echo itself and why does it matter?


If the ground-water is too scarce one can stretch nets

into the air and harvest the fog.


Hunger opens you to illiteracy,

thirst makes clear the starving pattern,


the thick night is so quiet, the spinning spider pauses,

the angel stops whispering for a moment—


The secret night could already be over,

you will have to listen very carefully—


You are never going to know which night’s mouth is sacredly reciting

and which night’s recitation is secretly mere wind—

The celebration inside the Old city of Jerusle...

The celebration inside the Old city of Jeruslem (Month of Ramadan) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


6 thoughts on “poem of the day: Ramadan by Kazim Ali

  1. “Poetry isn’t removed from actual life – we are.” A brilliant observation.

  2. yeltnuh says:

    Yes, he is acutely articulate, I think. The link from his name includes as many insights as the video.

  3. […] poem of the day: Ramadan by Kazim Ali This entry was posted in Ramadan, Religion & Spirituality and tagged Fihi Ma Fihi, Good works, islam, muslim, Prophet, Qur'an, Ramadan, Religion and Spirituality by seeker2008. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  4. Cecilia says:

    I especially love the image of the net harvesting the fog, and the angel, pausing in mid-whisper to listen to something barely heard….I have been reading John Green’s astute novels, and your last stanza reminds me of the duality of life, that he expresses so well.

  5. yeltnuh says:

    Yes, I agree. His use of couplets recalls prayer and his use of language echoes spiritual writing: it is, on the one hand, formal and ritualized while also demonstrating the power of words to lead the mind productively toward insight.

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