As students rev up their poetry engines for next week’s poetry contest, I wrote this to feed the soil of their souls. I think that extending “filament, filament, filament” of ideas and models enriches the possibilities of their own creations. Plus, I thought other people besides my students might enjoy these poems.
Recently I started reading a book called Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, translated and introduced by Daniel Ladinsky (Penguin, 2002). The first chapter contains poems by Rabia, an Islamic woman writing in eighth-century Basra. Some of you may know that Basra lies in present-day Iraq. Her poems remind me of topics I offered you lastFriday as starters for this coming week’s poems.
Before showing you some of Rabia’s poems, I want to give you one by Hafiz, the Persian poet who lived in present-day Iran, five hundred years after Rabia,. This poem appears in another of Ladinsky’s books, The Gift: Poems by Hafiz, The Great Sufi Master (Penguin, 1999). I offer it here because it connects to our essential question about behaviors and beliefs that cause strife and grief. Hafiz’s poem, “The Sad Game,” goes like this:
Keeps the sad…
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