Kate Dudding: Voices From the Past: May, 2018

This is the thirty-fourth issue of Voices From the Past. My goal for each issue is to publish some highlights of one of my historical stories as well as an update on my activities. Please feel free to forward this e-newsletter to anyone you think might be interested.

Poems by Rumi

For a change of pace, I thought Iíd share some of my favorite poems with you. Rumi is currently one of the most popular poets in the U.S. today.



This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


A teaching story translated by Coleman Barks  



When the Ramadan banner flies,

Soul restrains nature,

So it can taste its own food.


The strength of horses and the intensity of fire,

These are the powers of sacrifice.


Fasting, we honor the guest.


Clouds of courage give rain,

Because it was in this month that the Qur'an rained down,

Light through an opening.

Grab the rope,

And be lifted out of the body's pit.


Announce to Egypt that Joseph of Canaan has come.

Jesus dismounts the donkey,

And the sacrament table descends.


Wash your hands. Wash your face.

Do not eat or speak as you normally do.

Other food and other words will come in the silence




On the day I die,

when I'm being carried toward the grave,

don't weep.


Don't say,He's gone! He's gone. 

Death has nothing to do with going away.


The sun sets and the moon sets,

But they're not gone.

Death is a coming together.

The tomb looks like a prison,

But it's really release into union.


The human seed goes down in the ground

Like a bucket into the well where Joseph is.


It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty.

Your mouth closes here

And immediately opens with a shout of joy there.



Passion makes the old medicine new:

Passion lops off the bough of weariness.

Passion is the elixir that renews:


How can there be weariness when passion is present?

Oh, don't sigh heavily from fatigue:

Seek passion, seek passion, seek passion!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mathnawi VI, 4302-4304



Rumi's poetry is something that the United States and Afghanistan have in common. Rumi is the most popular poet in both countries. Rumi was a Persian poet born in 1207. Rumi was also an imam and a Sufi master - Sufism is a mystical branch of Islam.

One of my storytelling mentors, Elizabeth Ellis, loves Rumiís poems. She often starts her weekend workshops by reciting one of his poems. Thatís how I heard my first Rumi poem.

Even though his poems are over 800 years old, they seem fresh and relevant today to me. I hope you enjoyed them.


Click here for more information about Rumi.


News about me

I have several public performances this summer:-)

June 5 flyer for Arthur's in the Stockade section of Schenectady

I'll also be performing twice at Wiawaka Center for Women, as part of their Georgia O'Keeffe series (July - men welcome) as well as their Women's Lecture series (all summer):

Poster for Wiawaka July 8
Poster for Wiawaka Aug. 28

Thanks for reading this issue. Iíll be sending you some more story highlights in a few months.


Click here to register for free copies of my future e-newsletters.

Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Eike Dudding. All Rights Reserved.