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Today in Birthdays: Coates, Rumi, and Wiesel

Happy Birthday to three great writers! Today we celebrate the 41st birthday of Ta-Nehisi Coates, the 809th birthday of the poet, Rumi, and the 88th birthday of Elie Wiesel. Here are a few excerpts from their work!  

Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor, author of the Night trilogy, and Nobel Prize Laureate. He passed away earlier this year. We remember him by his strength and his tale of survival.

Image courtesy of Barnes and Noble 

Night by Elie Wiesel

“He seemed to be telling the truth. Not far from us, flames were leaping up from a ditch, gigantic flames. They were burning something. A lorry drew up at the pit and delivered its load—little children. Babies! Yes, I saw it—saw it with my own eyes… those children in flames. (Is it surprising that I could not sleep after that? Sleep had fled from my eyes.)

So this was where we were going. A little farther on was another and larger ditch for adults.

I pinched my face. Was I still alive? Was I awake? I could not believe it. How could it be possible for them to burn people, children, and for the world to keep silent? No, none of this could be true. It was a nightmare…. Soon I should wake with a start, my heart pounding, and find myself back in the bedroom of my childhood, among my books….”

 

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a cultural, social, and political correspondant for The Atlantic, and a National Book Award winner. 

Image courtesy of The New Yorker

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Excerpt: Letter to My Son 

“I write you in your 15th year. I am writing you because this was the year you saw Eric Garner choked to death for selling cigarettes; because you know now that Renisha McBride was shot for seeking help, that John Crawford was shot down for browsing in a department store. And you have seen men in uniform drive by and murder Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old child whom they were oath-bound to protect. And you know now, if you did not before, that the police departments of your country have been endowed with the authority to destroy your body. It does not matter if the destruction is the result of an unfortunate overreaction. It does not matter if it originates in a misunderstanding. It does not matter if the destruction springs from a foolish policy. Sell cigarettes without the proper authority and your body can be destroyed. Turn into a dark stairwell and your body can be destroyed. The destroyers will rarely be held accountable. Mostly they will receive pensions.” (The Atlantic)

 

Jal?l ad-D?n Muhammad R?m? was a poet and Islamic scholar. His work ranges from religion and love, to life lessons. His poetry has been translated in many languages and read worldwide. 

Image courtesy of Wikipedia 

This Marriage by Rumi

May these vows and this marriage be blessed. 
May it be sweet milk, 
this marriage, like wine and halvah. 
May this marriage offer fruit and shade 
like the date palm. 
May this marriage be full of laughter, 
our every day a day in paradise. 
May this marriage be a sign of compassion, 
a seal of happiness here and hereafter. 
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name, 
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky. 
I am out of words to describe 
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

 

 

Featured image courtesy of The Atlantic, TheFamousPeople, and Wikipedia