My favorite poem is by Moslih Eddin Saadi, a 13th century Persian poet. It is from a book called The Gulistan of Saadi ("gulistan" is rose garden), a collection of stories and poems. My father was a difficult man whose soft side was never apparent. When I was quite young, I heard him utter this poem, and I remember being astonished as to how something so simple and beautiful could come from someone so rough and intimidating. I think I held onto the poem because it gave me reason to believe deep inside him, there was a kind and gentle man.
—Submitted by Anne Salopek, Albuquerque, NM
If of thou earthly goods thou art bereft
Of thy meager store two loaves alone to thee are left
Sell one and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul
—Moslih Eddin Saadi