The Guest House: An Unexpected Research Gift

The Guest House

I spent much of July acquainting you with The House Guests, my latest novel. Months ago, as I did research , I came across this powerful poem by Rumi because of the similar title. Today I want to share it with you.

Does “The Guest House” relate directly to “The House Guests?” I think it does, especially if you read last week’s blog. When you’ve read the book, let me know your thoughts. But even if you don’t, take and absorb Rumi’s words, across continents and centuries, and originally in a language I’ve never spoken.

Powerful still and because…

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jalaluddin Rumi, The Essential Rumi translation by Coleman Barks*


  1. Kathleen O'Donnell on July 28, 2021 at 9:32 am

    Very interesting thoughts.

  2. Judy M Zell on August 2, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    This poem reminds me more of Debbie Macomber’s book, God’s Guest List. She makes the point that everyone in our lives has been put there for a purpose.

Leave a Comment