Doorkeepers of the Heart

DiPrima - pieces of a Song

Diane Di Prima’s poetry comes to me in volume only recently. Her poems seem to me to be either talismans holding personal events, poetic captures from distinct times and places, or, for me best of all, universal unions of human horizons and verticalities. In this latter respect, she reminds me of Rabi’a, the Sufi poetess of the 8th century

Diane Di Prima

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Thank you for indulging me. I hope to voice some of my late brother Tim’s poetry, soon.

I am fully qualified to work as a doorkeeper, and for this reason:
What is inside me, I don’t let out:
What is outside me, I don’t let in.
If someone comes in, he goes right out again.
He has nothing to do with me at all.
I am a Doorkeeper of the Heart, not a lump of wet clay.

(Rabi’a Al-‘Adawiyya)

Doorkeeper of the Heart. Versions of Rabia,
Translated by Charles Upton

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