Friday — About the word “Yes” — Hafez (Sufi) & Paul (Christian)

Friday, February 12, 2016 — Thank you, Morning Edition (NPR)

Driving home from an early shopping run, while ruminating about a poem for today, I listened to NPR’s piece about the deep legacy of the Persian poet Hafez (c. 1325-c.1390), I was reminded December 2014 when I posted, side by side, two short, exquisite poems about saying “yes.” Back in December 8, 2014 I also paid attention to the pace of sunrises as they head south toward the winter solstice. This morning in the depths of February those early December thoughts about gloom and “yes” seem as apt as they did two Decembers ago.

Enjoy the weekend. Enjoy these two short poems too.


john sj

Today’s Post: {first posted Monday December 8, 2014} –

For years and years this passage from Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians has stirred my soul. When I lose track of it for a time and find myself grinding away and looking at my life with sardonic know-it-all aloofness, and then think to treat these words like a poem again, the words turn me toward playful attentiveness and a grateful heart. Today, what led me to 2nd Corinthians was a weekly feed called “A Year of Being Here.” Readers of this list have benefitted from quite few poems that I met there. In this week’s set of seven I found the 14th century Persian poet, Hafiz (

Many people find that the stately procession of sunrises toward their northernmost Solstice point at the shortest day of the year wears on them, too many dim and dark minutes per day. Sometimes pockets of bright light from tight beam lamps help treat the dark as holy; but sometimes gloom settles in and saps the power of imagination. Poems like Paul’s and Hafiz’s help a lot.

Days of darkness for sure; best watch your language and read the poems out loud.

john sj

p.s. I used Paul’s poem on the card we made for my father’s funeral and then, 25 years later, for my mother’s.

Today’s Post # 1 Hafiz “Every Movement”

I rarely let the word “No” escape
From my mouth
Because it is plain to my soul
That God has shouted “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
To every luminous movement in existence.

Today’s Post # 2 Paul “Always Yes”

The Son of God,
The Christ Jesus that we proclaimed among you . . .
was never “yes” and “no.”
With him it was always “yes.”
And however many the promises God has made,
The “Yes” to them all is in him.


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