poMotion poetry

The Dervish

with 6 comments

My son knows nothing of Rumi
He’s five he barely reads at all
I’ve watched him intone
The words of his beginning reader
Until the words are washed of meaning
Until a word like run
Each letter repeated lengthened
And smoothed into the next
Becomes like a mystic litany
He’s never worn a tunic that spun
And flared and danced around his knees
But today he pinned a towel
Around his neck and called it a cape
And as I clapped he spun
And whooped and laughed and whirled
And the air above his head
Was alive and bright with life

By Noah West


Written by lickmypoetry

July 20, 2010 at 9:59 am

6 Responses

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  1. NB: I wrote this poem years before I had any children


    July 20, 2010 at 11:23 am

    • You must be psychic. I’m not a parent, but as a teacher, I have listened as emergent readers intone the sounds that letters make without yet grasping their meaning. I like the way the images in the beginning and the end counter one another and clasp together. Beautiful.

      Sue Zalokar

      July 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm

  2. What a lovely poem….I really enjoyed the scene you created…kudos!


    July 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

  3. I can see him wearing the cape and you clapped while he spun such movement and music in this poem


    July 20, 2010 at 7:45 pm

  4. the air above his head
    was alive and bright with life
    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh tender smile as a parent i have been to this place and oh dear god what a beautiful place it is……this is an amazing poem

    julie mccurdy

    July 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

  5. Oh Noah,
    Your first line, my son knows nothing of Rumi, makes this poem. The description that follows, slowing down the action so that we see and hear him read rrrr uuuu nnnn – rruuhhnnn – run and it’s compared to a litany – a tedious, but simple prayer, repeated over and over, the way we all learned before we could read.

    Then you do it again, with the line that he’s never worn the spinning tunic, and you show us how he glows, full of life and laughter and energy.

    This is masterful – I think, your best.

    Need I say, I LOVE it?


    July 22, 2010 at 12:02 am

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