Renunciation

By Kazim Ali b. 1971 Kazim Ali

“The Sailor cannot see the North—but knows the Needle can—”

The books were all torn apart, sliced along the spines
Light filled all the openings that she in her silence renounced

Still: her handwriting on the papers remembered us to her
The careful matching of the papers’ edges was a road back

One night Muhummad was borne aloft by a winged horse
Taken from the Near Mosque to the Far Mosque

Each book likens itself to lichen,
stitching softly to tree trunks, to rocks

what was given into the Prophet’s ears that night:
A changing of directions—now all the scattered tribes must pray:

Wonder well foundry, well sunborn, sundered and sound here
Well you be found here, foundered and found

Kazim Ali, "Renunciation" from The Far Mosque. Copyright © 2005 by Kazim Ali.  Reprinted by permission of Alice James Books.

Source: The Far Mosque (Alice James Books, 2005)

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Poet Kazim Ali b. 1971

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Religion, Faith & Doubt, Islam, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books

Poetic Terms Couplet

 Kazim  Ali

Biography

Poet, editor, and prose writer Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom to Muslim parents of Indian descent. He received a BA and MA from the University of Albany-SUNY, and an MFA from New York University. Ali’s poetry collections include The Far Mosque (2005), which won Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award, and The Fortieth Day (2008). Ali’s poems, both lyric and musical, explore the intersection of faith and daily . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Religion, Faith & Doubt, Islam, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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