At that time Arabic culture was largely based on oral tradition, with poetry at its center. For a nomadic people such as the Bedoin Arabs, poetry was the main reservoir of the people's knowledge and expression of their very existence. Poets were highly honored, attaining even what today we might term "superstar" status. The poetry was the poetry of the tribe or clan, articulating its legends, heroes, geneology, iteration of its strong "tribal code" of norms and exploits.
Celebrated poets included traditionalists such as Imru 'al-Qays, the "Brigand Poets" or poets who individualistically broke with the control of their tribes and lived outside the tribal system, and the celebrated Pre-Islamic woman poetess Al-Khansa.
Al-Khansa put women in a central place in her poetry. A traditionalist in one sense, she wrote poems of lament for brave fallen heroes of her tribe, such as her fallen brothers, yet celebrated the women who remained alive and powerful in keeping life going and honoring and transmitting the proud warrior values to their children, despite the vicissitudes of battle, defeat and victory. She made women's role in the symbolic order potent and visible, even in a patriarchal tribal society.
Hafiz was a master of interweaving the erotic and the mystic through superb linguistic craftsmanship and intuitive insight. Some stanzas from his "The House of Hope" give some feel for his themes, often sensual and melancholy: The house of hope is built on sand, And life's foundations rest on air; Then come, give wine into my hand, That we may make an end of care.
Look not to find fidelity Within a world so weakly stayed; This ancient crone, ere flouting thee, A thousand bridegrooms had betrayed. Take not for sign of true intent Nor think the rose's smile sincere; Sweet, loving nightingale, lament: There is much cause for weeping here. What envying of Hafiz's ease, Poor poetaster, dost thou moan? To make sweet music, and to please, That is a gift of God alone.
He is the archetypal sensual, erotic and profligate poet and Baghdad court favorite of the Caliph. He wrote pangyric poetry as well as heterosexual and homosexual ghazals, and handled Bacchic poems of "wine, women and song" with incomparable skill. He wrote with an existential edge to his Epicurean ethos that embraced every kind of pleasure and satisfaction.
His death is a subject of legend, some saying he died in prison for writing blasphemous verse, others that he died in a whorehouse, some saying he was murdered in reprisal for lampooning a powerful court personage, and still others that he died peacefully in his sleep in the home of a learned Shi'ite scholar. Originally an academic scholar and professor, he was persuaded by a wandering Sufi mystic, Shams al-Din Tabrizi, to take up the Sufi life and put the love of God at the center of his existence. Striving after divine illumination in diverse ways, from devout meditation to the ecstatic pleasures of wine, sexuality and the Dervish entrancement of dance, he emphasized a devotion to a spiritualized love that disregards rites and convention and concentrates on inner feeling and approach to the ecstatic infinite.
His odes have been chanted by Hadjj pilgrims on the road to Mecca for centuries and are sung with the greatest reverence even today. Basra was also the location of the annual Al-Mirbad literary festival of Arab and Islamic culture that took place yearly featuring competitions and debates on philosophical issues, and at which he was renown for his wit, cutting humor, endless anecdotes and depth of knowledge. His book "Spiritual Leadership" was praised at the court in Baghdad by the Caliph al-Mamun, who appointed him as court scribe, personal secretary and speech writer. His monumental work the "Book of Animals" is the first encyclopedia on animals and zoology.
His most famous work is the "Book of Misers" which is a unique portrait gallery of human characters rich in their contradictions and ironies. It features an acute analysis of the passion of avarice, satirical and comic narratives, and cutting insight into human psychology. Ibn Rushd and Ibn Sina played a major role in saving the works of Aristotle, whose ideas came to dominate the non-religious thought of both the Christian and Muslim worlds.
They would also absorb ideas from China and India, adding to them tremendous knowledge from their own studies. Ibn Sina and other speculative thinkers such as al-Kindi and al-Farabi combined Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism with other ideas introduced through Islam. Avicenna argued his famous "Floating Man" thought experiment, concerning self-awareness, where a man prevented of sense experience by being blindfolded and free falling would still be aware of his existence, perhaps a forerunner of Descartes "cogito ergo sum""I think therefore I am.
A great spiritual searcher, he attended debates and salons in Basra and Baghdad, then embarked on thirty years of wandering, perpetual fasting, meditation, contemplation and silence in search of Sufi enlightenment. His pilgrimage to Mecca led to further enlightenment and he began to attract large numbers of followers, breaking the normal Sufi practice of esoteric secrecy by public preaching, including reform of corrupt clerics. His movement was perceived as a threat by the highly corrupt religious establishment, and he suffered a fate similar to Jesus and the Apostles. Corrupt clerics accused him of blasphemy and he was imprisoned in Baghdad eight years, tortured, half-killed and exhibited on a scaffold.
The Caliph, failing to force him to recant his beliefs, finally had him decapitated, burnt and his ashes scattered into the Tigris River. One of its characters Mohammad ala Rushdie is a novice Sufi of the Mevlevi Order, writer and also an activist for the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. He is taken hostage by terrorists and meets the Supreme Leader of Iran, later reciting to him a short story he has written "The Supreme Leader and the Three Messiahs," reminiscent of Dostoyevski's "The Grand Inquisitor" set in an Islamic setting. Part of the plot of the novel involves a geopolitical conspiracy of an allied China-Russia-Iran to execute a Pearl Harbor-like sneak attack invasion of the Middle-East oil reserves to sever the "oil jugular" of the West, leading to a threatened WWIII.
It is foiled by a cosmic quest of the protagonists intoa mythic dimension and a change of heart in the Iranian Supreme Leader following a visit of the Angel Jibreel Gabriel who commands him to "Open the Gates of Ijtihad" or creative reasoning against the tradition of blind precedent and conformity to the past as a means giving rebirth to the spirit of the lost Islamic Golden Age and preventing Armageddon and World War III. For a fuller discussion of the concept of World Literature you are invited to look into the extended discussion in the new book Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard, one of the principal themes of which is the emergence and evolution of World Literature: Spiritus Mundi on Goodreads: Spiritus Mundi on Amazon, Book I: Nov 08, Ruhat alp rated it it was amazing.
He have not a nationality,country or adress Mevlana's reply was thus: Am I a thief? Have I stolen someone's goods? Is this why you would confine me here and keep me from being rejoined with my love? It is the time of release from this cage of the body and Soul has become purifi He have not a nationality,country or adress It is the time of release from this cage of the body and Soul has become purified of all earthly desires.
For those on the path of Mevlana, Seb-i Arus is a celebration and convergence, like a festival of the beauties being offered every moment to the Lovers of God Aug 09, Maureen rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This book has a special significance for me, because Barks dedicated it to my friend John Ryan Seawright, one of the shining lights of modern Southern letters until his untimely death. These poems like all of Rumi's poetry, call out to the reader on a multiplicity of levels.
Not Here There's courage involved if you want to become truth. There is a broken- open place in a lover. Where are those qualities of bravery and sharp compassion in this group? What's the use of old and froze This book has a special significance for me, because Barks dedicated it to my friend John Ryan Seawright, one of the shining lights of modern Southern letters until his untimely death. What's the use of old and frozen thought? I want a howling hurt.
This is not a treasury where gold is stored; this is for copper.
My Original Poems and Poems that I admire! Poetry for the Soul .. just your eyes' ideas of how you should see one little slice of this gigantic, magical world of . In this captivating collection of poems from pastor Ken Gibble, readers will With the heart of a pastor and the pen of a poet, Gibble offers literate slices of life.
We alchemists look for talent that can heat up and change. Halfhearted holding back, well enough getting by? May 07, Alison rated it it was amazing. Use as a tool for poetic entertainment or spiritual enlightenment. Sep 15, Patrick Gibson rated it it was amazing Shelves: Austere, profound, beautiful, essential. We are as pieces of chess engaged in victory and defeat: Who are we, O Thou soul of our souls, that we should remain in being beside thee? We and our existences are really non-existence; thou art the absolute Being which manifests the perishable. We all are lions, but lions on a banner: Their onward rush is visible, and the wind is unseen: Our wind whereby we are moved and our being are of thy gift; our whole existence is from thy bringing into being" Jun 05, Richard rated it it was ok.
Don't take her appeal lightly. Each poem is deliciously short. Spiritus Mundi on Goodreads: Want to Read Currently Reading Read. He have not a nationality,country or adress They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know:
I had heard about this book on NPR, so checked it out of the library. I skipped around and read several good poems, but have to admit I am just not that much of a poetry reader. So I never finished the book. Aug 09, Sam toer rated it really liked it. I felt transformed to a magical mystical place. Sep 25, Tammy rated it it was amazing Shelves: The poems of Rumi sing to my soul and fill my heart.
Coleman Barks did a marvelous job on this book. Aug 08, Sye rated it really liked it. I picked this book up in a store while looking for Masnavi Ye Manavi, Rumi's word is so warm. Jul 06, Jeff rated it really liked it Shelves: Rumi writes poems in a simple style: However, that does not always make his poetry easy to understand. There is depth here. People of all faiths or no faith can find beauty in these words. A few of my favorites: A road might end at a single house, but it's not love's road Love is a river.
Trust means you're ready to risk what you currently have. Think of your fear and hope about your live Rumi writes poems in a simple style: Think of your fear and hope about your livelihood. They make you go to work diligently every day. What was told the cypress that made it strong and straight, what was whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made sugarcane sweet, whatever was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in Turkestan that makes them so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush like a human face, that is being said to me now.
She made a paste of pages from the Qur'an to fill the deep creases on her face and neck with. This is not about an old woman, dear reader. It's about you, or anyone who tries to use books to make themselves attractive. There she is, sticking scripture, thick with saliva, on her face. Of course, the bits keep falling off. You don't need me. You are yourself a troop of demons! Death comes and all talking, stolen or not, stops. Pity anyone unfamiliar with silence when that happens. Polish your heart with mediation and quietness. Let the inner life grow generous and handsome like Joseph.
Zuleika did that and her "old woman's spring cold snap" turned to mid-July. How long will I keep talking of up and down? This is not my home: I go back where everything is nothing. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls.
Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret.
Body food gets put out in the open like us. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children.
The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store.
A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter.
Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground.
Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon.
The wise stork says lek-lek. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Now consider the sun. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
This world is drenched with that drowning. Se can tie knots in your chest that only God's breathing loosens. Don't take her appeal lightly. What was told the cypress that made it strong and straight, what was whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made sugarcane sweet, whatever was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in Turkestan that makes them so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush like a human face, that is being said to me now.
Whatever put eloquence in language, that's happening here. The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude, chewing a piece of sugarcane, in love with the one to whom every that belongs! I am lost in that other. It's sweet not to look at two worlds, to melt in meaning as honey melts in milk. No one tires of following the soul. I don't recall now what happens on the manifest plane.
I stroll with those I have always wanted to know, fresh and graceful as a water lily, or a rose. The body is a boat; I am waves swaying against it. Whenever it anchors somewhere, I smash it loose, or smash it to pieces. If I get lazy and cold, flames come from my ocean and surround me. I laugh inside them like gold purifying itself. A certain melody makes the snake put his head down on a line in the dirt Here is my head, brother: Weary of form, I come into qualities.
Each says, "I am a blue-green sea. Rumi tells her to come back in two weeks.
She does, and he tells her again to come in two weeks. She does, and he advises the child to cut down on sweets. Then I tried again and was successful. Only now can I tell him to try not to have so much. You want to know the meaning of phenomenal duration, so you can teach others and help their souls unfold. Anyone who asks this question has some of the answer.
Sow seed corn, Moses, and you will experience the purpose of taking a form. Moses plants and tends the crop; when the ears have ripened to the shape of their beauty, he brings out to the field his blade and sharpening stone. The unseen voice comes, Why did you work to bring the corn to perfection only now to chop it down? When life moves into auto pilot, I neglect poetry. We are like old friends — so grateful to have crossed paths again and we reminisce for a spell. September is my birthday month. I enjoy giving myself small birthday gifts during the entire month of September.
These gifts do not usually cost anything; a walk along the river, a drive to the library or finding a small space amongst the trees in my backyard to write. The best gifts are free. We need to look forward to what many are not able to. When I am an old, old woman I may very well be living all alone like many another before me and I rather look forward to the day when I shall have a tumbledown house on a hill top and behave just as I wish to.
No more need to be proud— at the tag end of life one is at last allowed to be answerable to no one. Then I shall wear a shapeless felt hat clapped on over my white hair, sneakers with holes for the toes, and a ragged dress. My house shall be always in a deep-drifted mess, my overgrown garden a jungle. I shall keep a crew of cats and dogs, with perhaps a goat or two for my agate-eyed familiars.
And what delight I shall take in the vagaries of day and night, in the wind in the branches, in the rain on the roof! I shall toss like an old leaf, weather-mad, without reproof. Skip to content September 11, Shari Daniels. I stopped to take in the awe. A boring description — again, I apologize.
Here was his first poem: