How best this spirit and love achieve?
Where and when the guest receive?
It would seem that hospitality
Is tied to the hearth most intimately
To welcome to your home the new guest
Is clearly the situation that’s best.
‘In your own home’ appears many a time1
Even though its’ a difficult rhyme
Indeed, there is no other place
Mentioned by the Guardian, no trace
Of other settings in his letters
It seems the home cannot be bettered.
Not while riding on the bus
Or in the aisle at Toys’R’Us,
Not at the office by the cooler
Or in a classroom studying Euler
Not while sending a cablegram
Or in a diner over green eggs and ham.2
Who are you to tell me not to?
To put restrictions on what I ought do?
I have taught while on the bus
And in the aisle at Toys’R’Us
When Bahá’u’lláh says ‘Blessed is the spot’3,
Doesn’t that mean wherever the Faith is taught?
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
But the name on another flower would not repeat
The fragrance and beauty of the rose
Some might be fooled but not the nose.
If linguistic inflation will not improve the garden
Why let use of the word ‘fireside’ harden
Into a term that includes any and every means
And so gives no guidance, indeed demeans
The very concept of most effective
Which implies it is restrictive
To those qualities that make it best,
Patience, suffer me to recount the rest
Of what might be gleaned about the fireside
Let us use the texts as our guide.