Rumi response, A Thirsty Fish- Haley Neil

This is how it always is

when I finish a poem.


A great silence overcomes me, 

and I wonder why I ever thought

to use language. 

-Rumi, A Thirsty Fish


Words-so beautiful, so powerful. 

Yet that power does not live in the end.

It is the means, the process. 

Putting words to paper.

Creating, sharing, reinterpreting. 


That initial spark-

Consuming, growing, 

An entire world

In a head, a poem, a novel. 


Finally writing,

In all its frustrating glory. 

Forming material thoughts. 


And then letting go, 

Sharing ownership.


This is how it always is. 



I was inspired by the end of Rumi’s poem “A Thirsty Fish”. In the poem he talks about a constant thirst and ends on a note about what it feels like to finish a poem. My response is a poem about the entire writing process. I started with a general note on writing and then focused on the steps. Each stanza gets smaller, putting the most emphasis on the final line, which is from Rumi’s poem. 


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