For this annotation, I have chosen ‘A Gift to Bring You’ by my favorite teacher and poet Rumi:
“You have no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You. Nothing seemed right. What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the ocean. Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I've brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.”
The beauty of Rumi’s poetry is that it brings a whole new perspective to light and is unique to every reader. I genuinely loved this poem for its brief but succinct description for the highest level of admiration and love you can have for an individual or the divine entity, depending on which approach you take. The choice and use of words to display the depth in the respect and love for the other is poetically phrased. Rumi starts with ‘You have no idea how hard I’ve look for a gift to bring You’. The general idea to use the word ‘gift’ is when you are to congratulate or appreciate someone. It’s almost as if Rumi tries to whimper on how he finds the need to appreciate this entity with something that his human abilities cannot acquire to find. He goes on to use a few analogies to compare how gifting something tangible to an entity who beholds the whole universes light would be of no purpose.
The three elements used here are gold, water and spices. Gold in this context represents beauty and prestige which is of no use considering the lover beholds the whole universes charm. Water being the source of nourishment is a metaphor used to explain that gifting a physical vital to the One who nourishes millions through his boundless capacity or maybe through just the goodness of their heart, would never be a competent gift. He continues to state that ‘Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient”. The use of spices as a metaphors accentuates on the flavor and excitement that spices add to our life and to gift something like this to the creator of boundless life learnings or exciting experiences would be of no match. He is responsible for all that is beautiful and cruel in this world, which is undoubtedly the definition of life.
He further moves to explain that I could give you my ‘heart and soul’ and this could be interpreted as giving his love and spirit. This too would be useless as He is the holder of the abundance of love and giver of life, literally and abstractly, in this world and that it is His to begin with and his to keep till the end. The last line is just exceptionally heart-warming. He concludes with ‘So I’ve brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me’. This final sentence is in essence the complete definition of loving unconditionally and selflessly. The best gift for someone who has the ability to withhold the whole universes spectacle or possibly someone who makes you feel like the stars in the galaxy, showcases the deep appreciation and sense of gratitude for this beings existence in their life. And the lover here wants Him to know that a part of him resides in his reflection.
What a powerful poem that attempts to illustrate the true meaning of boundless love. The analogies also accentuate on a lot of the material things that we aspire in the physical world in fight to find true happiness. In conclusion, this poem ultimately reminds me that gratitude for all the power, knowledge and feelings we feel due to the divine or even a special someone is essential to fulfill our soul; what we accumulate over the years in material wealth or status only fills our ego.