Envelope Poems are Amazing to Receive (Rumi + Emily Dickinson)
Last week, we received a remarkable valentine. Even if it had not come in a hot pink envelope on Valentine’s day, but in an ordinary envelope on an ordinary day, it would have been as powerful. A poem stuffed into an envelope and delivered via snail mail turns out to be an amazing thing to receive.
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 are 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 whatever comes. because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
The poem was a healing, completely unexpected reminder to not push away the dark feelings we inevitably encounter in ourselves and often don’t wish to acknowledge. We imagined it had been written by a contemporary poet. When we looked it up, we discovered it had been written by Rumi in the 13th century.
Artist Lisa Morphew, who sent us Rumi’s poem, also pastes poems on packages as well, where they delight not just the receiver, but the random person who might see them. A poem about Late August flew through the mail in the cold of late December, shifting the view of all that read it…
Poems sent by mail, without comment, are like little portable artworks, conveying depth and dimension and imagery — and a unique kind of greeting.
Somehow, they reminded us of the poems Emily Dickinson’s wrote on salvaged scraps of envelopes, jotting down inspiration as it came to her…