Monday, July 1, 2013

A Gift for Myself

A Gift to Myself  - Poetry by Hafiz
Though it has taken me a lifetime to appreciate poetry, and I'm still working on acquiring a taste for it. I find it to be incredibly personal, and often challenging for me to match the mood/emotion of the writer in order to appreciate their words. I bought my first book of poetry eight years ago, 100 Selected Poems by ee cummings before I was ready. I got caught up in his style of writing but I'm not sure I ever understood any of it.

I just bought my second book of poetry, "The Gift", after having just finished a book called "40 Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi", a book that intertwines the story of a middle aged woman who finds love, with another accounting the tale of Rumi, the great Sufi poet and his muse, Shams of Tabriz. I had looked through the bookstore at the various books by Rumi but decided upon this book by Hafiz instead. While flipping through it, I came across the poem We have not come here to take prisoners which I'd heard once before, it includes these ultra inspiring lines:

We have not come into this exquisite world
To hold ourselves hostage from love.

Run my dear,
From anything
That may not strengthen
Your precious budding wings.

I can look at that and it makes sense to me, probably because it's time for me to not only understand it, but to also believe it.

I also chose this book because I had been specifically looking for the poem that inspired Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of "Eat, Pray, Love" to write one of my favorite quotes: "But I was always coming here. I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. I was never not coming here. This was never not going to happen." 
J. Herbin Bouton D'Or
Her quote, which I believe speaks to Hafiz's poem Rewards for Clear Thinking, is so meaningful to me that I will be creating a piece of art inspired by it for the upcoming Banana Factory Artists Annual Group Show (yet untitled) in which all of the works will have been inspired from a piece of text.
Photo Jul 01, 11 27 33 AM


Lee Munro said...

Next, check out 'Love Poems From God', by the same translator. Hafiz, Rumi, St. Francis of Asissi, and more.

Stephanie "Biffybeans" Smith said...

I had that book in my hand- chose this one first. I will return to it - thanks!

Lindsey H. said...

I understand that. It does take a long time to not only understand poetry, but to appreciate it, especially with older works. When it clicks though, it's like unlocking something rare and eye-opening. I really enjoyed reading that passage.

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