Monday, July 1, 2013
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,
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."
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.