Adonis Diaries

Persian poets (Before the Ayatollahs took over): Life was written before you were born…?

Posted on: August 4, 2016

Persian poets: Life was written before you were born…?

 November 3, 2008

Khayyam and Hafiz, (November 1, 2008)

I finished reading a French translation of the quatrains of the Persian poets Khayyam and Hafiz.

Although four centuries separate the two poets, the style, idea and philosophy are the same! The enemies are the same: tight hypocritical clerics and rigid rules governing daily moral behavior.

The main philosophy is that your life has been written before you were born, and so why all these constraints that hamper joy in this ephemeral life?

Drinking wine (mainly beer) is the main symbol for breaking into all the prohibitions.

I read in the French book “Pintades de Tehran” that many girls there brandish the collection of Hafiz poems as their amorous poetic Bible.

Many critics go a long way differentiating between the living lover and the mystical idea of a God.

There is no difference; it is a matter of level of energy and the power of abstract notions.  You cannot compare the passions of an old man with a youth, qualitatively and quantitatively.

Even a young man full of energy and zest can be lead astray by an abstract notion that he thinks cannot hurt him, and that he may manipulate it to his convenience any time he desires.

Let a young man fall in love with a real person and quickly disappointment overcomes him:  A living lover is Not as convenient as an abstract notion of a God, liberty, freedom, independence and human dignity.

What happens to a healthy person who awakes early and is invigorated by the morning breeze?  Wings develop to the mind and spirit and everything seems possible and alternatives boom.

What happens to a healthy person, tired of a day’s work, who sits down in the evening to get slowly drunk?  Wings develop to his subconscious mind and his spirit gets loose; but what his mind imagines can become real.

In every language the same imagery and selected “poetic” words in poems recurs indefinitely.  You finally realize that one good poem is representative of the spirit and poetical aspiration of a whole civilization; you read one poem in one style and you feel you read them all.  

And you realize that you are glad that you can read several languages so that you may compare the richness in imagery.

The process is as follows:

Once a poet start writing, abstract notions gradually replaces real life constraints and inadequacies.  As the poet realizes that he is indeed talking in abstraction, he explodes and soars into incomprehensible symbolism of the antiquities; the sort of odes that hard neck poets appreciate.

And what are the interests of the general public in all that?  Just leave it to the specialists to explain the meaning and beauty of the imageries and symbolism.

A one directional mind is dangerous and counter-productive to the re-birth of the spirit, and discovering newer individual truths.

Time, more time and some experiences are pre-requisites for forming minds “below average”, but time is the arch-enemy of the spirit.

It is ridiculous that youth has to cater for survival when he should be expressing his

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