Day 23,726: Discovering Persian Poets

” Fear is the cheapest room in the house. 
I would like to see you living in better conditions.”

Sufi master poet Hafez

We have rightfully grown away from educating by strict memorization, but that said, I wish I had been tasked with memorizing more. For one, I would have learned more, but more importantly, I think I would have retained more.

Today, for the first time in my life, I was introduced to the work by Persian poet Hafez. Considering he lived and died in the 14th century, I’ve certainly had enough time to learn about him, but never did. My education on American poets is weak, and my exposure to  Persian poets abysmal.  The only poems I remember being exposed to as  a child were limericks, odes to baseball (Casey at Bat), and my favorite elf poem.

It’s truly my loss as Persia was the center of civilization for so long and so many of the great writers such as Rumi (13th century) came from the Fertile Crescent. Perhaps, as older children, we would have paid more attention to world history had it been taught via poetry rather than battles.

The Persian poets deserve so much more or our attention especially in times of upheavel as they specialized in love, peace, tranquility and wine. Yes, wine! Perhaps, it’s because they also honored age and aging.  Check this gem by Rumi that warms a Crone’s heart:

“Why should I be unhappy? Every parcel of my being is in full bloom.”

Now, added to the lack of time to read enough books, listen to enough podcasts, and exercise enough to make a difference, I once again want to add time to read more poems. The easy solution is to read a poem a night before bed, but that’s when my eyes are tired. I could read a poem upon rising, but I don’t rise early enough as it is. I could read a poem during the day, but it doesn’t seem peaceful enough. I wonder if I can find an app that reads a poem a night to me? That would be a great way to go to sleep.

I just checked the app store. There’s one app called Poemhunter that, for free, will send you a poem a day. I’m in. I just searched Hafez and came up with an Ode to him rather than poems by him, but it’s a start.

And here’s the end of the poem The Gift by  Hafez that started this post.

“Your heart and my heart
Are very, very old
Friends.”

I just found out April is national poetry month. Seems as appropriate time as any to recommit to poems throughout the ages. So friend, I leave you now to discover more poems.

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Daily Focus on Gun Sanity:  Sadly, you can search the term “gun violence” on Poemhunter.com, the web site that drives the app, and you’ll find way more than one poem. Nevertheless, here’s one from 1963:

Long Night Full Moon
D. A. Powell

You only watch the news to find out
where the fires are burning, which way
the wind is blowing, and whether
it will rain. Forecast ahead but first:
A mother’s boy laid out
in the street for hours.
These facts don’t wash away.