Rumi assignmet – Elephant in the Dark – Veronica Mullin

  1. Elephant in the Dark

“If each of us held a candle there,
and if we went in together,
we could see it.”

I believe the main focus of this poem is unity and it’s importance. The elephant in the dark that can only seen bit by bit serves as a metaphor for how people individually can understand something that they do not know, but if we all worked together, our individual candles combined would illuminate the entire elephant at once.

At the same time, the poem does not criticize individuality. The line,
“Each of us touches one place
and understands the whole in that way.”
says that we can understand things in own own way, with no help from others. But it’s clear that it would prove to be much easier, and we would get results faster, if the world worked together to understand the large issues. At the beginning of the poem someone touches the trunk and says the elephant must be a “water-pipe kind of creature” but that individual does not truly understand what the creature actually is, and cannot understand without the aid of the other candles and thus the other people with him in the dark.

My interpretation image is supposed to convey the strong theme of unity. I also opted to use the image of an elephant as a metaphor for major world issues, and the pattern on the elephant is an net or web-like pattern to show connection throughout the entire body. And the colors I used are meant to imitate the colors found on a globe in effort to represent world unity.


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