Sunday, May 22, 2005

a kind of loneliness

Everyone has someone, a friend to love,

And work, and skill to do it. All I have

Is a fantasy lover who hides

For safety in the dark of my heart's cave.

#1987: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Today I looked for a theme around loneliness: alone, lone, one, narrowing things down. Yesterday, I couldn't connect to in the morning and I was not able to reach my daily quatrain until the evening. I did little with it but to find a corresponding poem by Emily Dickinson. As a consequence, I am still left with my questions about what poets are for. In today's quatrain, he seems still to be addressing that question.

Emily, in her poem, has a role viz à viz her "Lord" in which she is there to bear his "windy will". This sounds a little like a chore, a little like an honour. It's something she can't do without a "sunny mind" that only her Lord can grant. There seems to be a parallel here with the cup of Rumi's poem which he won't drink from unless it is handed to him. Something comes to the poet, something that s/he must simply wait for and not reach out for. Me, I was getting used to my daily dose of Rumi, I was accustomed to reaching out for it each morning. Yesterday, I was made to wait.

Writing poems, then, is not simple work applied with acquired skill. It is a lovers' game, a conversation expressed by the pair of lovers. Within what we see as Rumi, there is "a fantasy lover", a beloved "other", and the poem tells us of what occurs between these two. These reflective poems seem to speak to no one but the poet himself and yet the poems are published, read by others, and a resonance discovered. Yes, I speak to myself like that sometimes. Or I could do if ... I was more cultivated, or my lover was more beautiful, or I understood things better, or saw more clearly.

For now, I think I'll just wait and see what happens next.


Post a Comment

<< Home