April is National Poetry Month. There are as many poetry styles as there are poets. The poems of a particular poet are as distinctive as her soul. His verse is his expressive DNA. Who you are, where you live, how you live, when you live, who your people are, all these and much more is distilled in your poetry. Those two statements aren’t oxymoron. Poetry simmers in the poets soul, seasoned by his environment. Let’s explore some schools of poetry. I begin with a personal favorite: Persian poetry.
In it’s golden age, Persia was ruler of the oriental world. Persians were thinkers, lovers, artists and poets. Persians were faithful as the Cedars of Lebanon. Their poetry is redolent with the fragrance of myrrh and cardamom. Persian poetry evokes sounds of lute and lyre. In it you can taste figs and tamarind. Persian poetry is lush vermillion, cobalt, indigo and pure gold. The epic poem in the Old Testament of the Bible called Song of Songs or Song of Solomon is very Persian in style.
Here are samplings from four of the best known and most beloved Persian poets.
Hafiz – Also spelled Hafez or Hafis, this is a title for the poet Shamseddin Mohammad. Hafiz is a term of respect given to one who has memorized the entire Qu’ran. Hafiz as we will call him, lived and wrote in what is now Shiraz, Iran. Hafiz was the eternal lover. Click here to read the poetry of Hafiz. http://www.hafizonlove.com/
Here is one of the best of Hafiz:
Do not condemn your neighbor out of hand.
Think of your own failings.
If each knew everything about the other, he would forgive gladly and easily;
there would be no more pride and arrogance.
Rumi- Mevlana Jalal e Din Mevlavi Rumi. Beloved 13th century Persian poet and mystic. Enjoy readings and recitations of Rumi by Shahran Shiva here: http://www.rumi.net/. Read more about the poet Rumi here: http://www.rumionfire.com/
Omar Khayyam http://www.okonlife.com/. Omar Khayyam might arguably be the best known of the ancient Persian poets. Many are familiar with Khayyam’s Rubiayat. click here for complete translation http://www.therubaiyat.com/
Here is a well-known and loved piece from Omar Khayyam:
A gourd of red wine
and a sheaf of poems
A bare subsistence, half a loaf, not more-
Supplied us two alone in the free desert:
What Sultan could we envy on his throne?
Zarathushtra – Zoroaster http://www.zarathushtra.com/ was elevated to status of divinity as well as poet. There are followers of Zoroaster today.
Let the opulence and simple truth of Persian poetry like a rich carpetry, warm you.