Persian inspired poem, 1907

I awoke this morning, just predawn, and lay there quietly 'coming to'...when the final line of a poem flowed through my mind. I knew it was from 'Hyacinths For The Soul', (title I knew it by) but was curious as to its real title and correct wording for it has been years since I memorized this poem. I went onto the ever illuminating www. and found what I was looking for.

If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft
And of thy simple store two loaves of bread alone are left
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed the soul.

James Terry White, In Saadi’s Rose Garden, 1907
(inspired by 1300's Persia writer, Saadi’s)

I think the 'message' applies to art and creativity today. And I am sure my memory shoved this poem to the forefront after a conversation I had with an artist just a couple of days ago.
She was sighing about the 'good ol' days' when she was painting large pieces, selling for $2500 a piece, and it was no unusual occurrence to sell $10,000-$15,000 worth at a large show. Now, she says, the economy has made it a tough sell for a small piece at $25. That got me started thinking on how the first classes cut from the curriculum in schools with ever shrinking budgets are art and music-the Hyacinths that feed the soul.

Yes, we all have to eat, clothe our bodies, pay the rent and endless bills...but sometime today, get out the tools of your art and create a garden of food for your soul.

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