Gloria Norton – Rumi Assignment

I believe in the smell of the sun last August.

I believe in the sound airplanes make when they
hit pavement, sidewalk chalk in between my
fingernails, almonds, the last piece of gum in the
pack, German shepherds, jumbo boxes of sour
patch kids. I believe in trying passionfruit for the
first time from a stand on the side of the street in
Hawaii. Bumble bees, and cotton balls, and plaid
shirts of any color. I believe that I will marry the
first boy I ever kissed, even if he doesn’t agree.
I believe that strawberry jelly is best and M&Ms
taste different depending on the color. I believe
in all the people who died, even if I never knew
them. Because they know more about everything
than I do. I’d like to believe that people have good
intentions even if they make the wrong choices.
And children really never should grow up, Peter
Pan was right. I believe in the number 7, dogs that
don’t run away as soon as you open the front door.
Friends who always answer the phone when you
call. I believe in the homeless man who always says
“thank you” when I walk by him, even though I never
give him any money I believe in scary movies even
though they make me upset. I believe anything that
anyone tells me, and I wish I didn’t. I believe that
New Jersey is the most overpopulated, most hated,
most ridiculous state in the US but it’s still my favorite
place to be because it’s home. I believe in people who
knock on my door just to say hello, friends who sit
with me when I cry and know that their presence is
enough. Nail polish that sparkles and the ring I never
take off and the sound of the rain on the sunroof;
the Azaleas that used to grow by my driveway only
for three weeks out of the year and that’s how I knew
spring was coming. I believe that my parents always
know when I’m telling a lie and Valentines Day was
created by the greeting card companies and the world
should be made of cotton candy and lemonade instead
of dirt and water. Worry is inevitable but I believe that
happiness comes in the form of Swedish fish and
crumpled up dollar bills in your back pocket.

This poem is inspired by “A Community of the Spirit” by Rumi. This creative process was really difficult for me. Poetry is the art form I am most comfortable with, however, I prefer to write poetry that only I will see, or maybe a few other people. A poem is very personal, and it takes a lot of time and constant revision. It was difficult for me to write a poem all in one night and feel satisfied with it.

I chose to write in this format because Rumi’s poem made me think about putting my passions over my worries. Rumi writes “Drink all your passion, and be a disgrace… Be empty of worrying.” I tried to remove all the worries from my mind, in true Sufi fashion, and write a poem based on my passions, no matter how small. I chose the rigid rectangular physical structure of the poem to represent the constrictions that I feel even when I attempt to let go of worry. Similarly, the flow of the poem is quick and panic-y. The overall message was an attempt to think only of my passions and happiness, even though worry is inevitable.

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