Blogs by Bahais

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The candle

Another of John’s beautiful poems.

the Book of Pain

How have you made me?
Say not, “With wax and wick and a taper trimmed.”
For I am light and I am heat,
I am an evening spent all alone
befriended by the memory of a scent.
And I am undone.
Your bright flame in my dark night
has unmade me, and in unmaking me,
has made me.
I, something, was nothing.
in becoming nothing, something, my essence,
to burn for you…
Some would call this sacrifice. Not me.

I am fascinated by the concept that true sacrifice—sacrifice made out of love—returns more than it gives up. The inspiration for the poem was a quotation of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Head of the Bahá’í Faith for many years. The full text is here, from which I took this quote:

“…ye must die to yourselves and to the world, so shall ye be born again and enter the Kingdom of Heaven…

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