Wednesday, May 18

Buttering the Sky

Changesofheart asked today whether I had a poem to share.  Well, I don't have any particular favourites out of  the ones I've been reading for my assignment, (at least at the moment), but there is an odd sort of lovely thing that I found at random a while back, which I have thought about sharing, but never really gotten around to it.  Ha.  Well this is certainly as good a time as any!

This is Buttering the Sky by Hafiz.

On my shoes,
Boiling water,
Toasting bread,
Buttering the sky:
That should be enough contact
With God in one day
To make anyone

OK.  Now for the prestige.  This guy, Hafiz, is lived from 1320 to 1389, and was a mystic Sufi poet from Persia.  Upon proudly googling the topic, I have learnt that Sufi poetry is poetry written for private devotionals or as lyrics to worship (to no fixed deity).  

It's weird, isn't it, that through exact translation, a Persian poet's 14th century poem is twice as modern as poems written by people like Keats and Kendall in the 19th and 20th century!  You know, this isn't the first time I've been surprised by the seemingly inappropriate modern...ness of writing.  I had the same sort of feeling with Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.  It was so so so modern!  It didn't read like a classic at all, completely ironic to its being written in the 18th century!  Anyway, I'm sure that Hafiz's superbly random and hilariously optimistic little stanzas are good for comic relief on a night like tonight!  So here's another I whipped up earlier.  Hafiz's The Happy Virus:

I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious -
So kiss me.

1 comment:

  1. I am a little bit jealous of your ability to enjoy poetry. I've never been able to get into it (or short stories).


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