Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I Said To The Wanting-Creature Inside Me - by Kabir

I said to the wanting-creature inside me:
What is this river you want to cross?
There are no travelers on the river-road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or nesting?

There is no river at all, and no boat, and no boatman.
There is no tow rope either, and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford!

And there is no body, and no mind!
Do you believe there is some place that will make the
soul less thirsty?
In that great absence you will find nothing.

Be strong then, and enter into your own body;
there you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully!
Don't go off somewhere else!

Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of
imaginary things,
and stand firm in that which you are.


More info on the poet Kabir: http://www.poemhunter.com/kabir/biography/poet-33619/

I like poetry and when I was looking for a nice poem about diaspora and identity to post on Q's blog (I didn't find one), I came across this website: www.poemhunter.com


Q. A. Shah said...

Heh. I think that poem is quite appropriate and illuminating on the identity that's been bouncing around. Especially w/ the traveller persona and land/physical environment imagery.

And that line "Do you believe there is some place..." seems right along the lines of the Pashto proverb about Kashmir.

And the final line, where Kabir uses the words "in that which you are" rather than "on that where you are" is brilliant.

Quite appropriate. May have to find some Ghalib and launch a proxy mushaira.

homeinkabul said...

my favorite part is:
Do you believe there is some place that will make the soul less thirsty?

I want to clap and say 'wah-wah.

Q. A. Shah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Q. A. Shah said...

Here is one of my favorite Khusru shairs. As I take it in part, kinda to the same point of needing to be grounded/happy where you are, and the emptiness of the "spiritual quest":

An earthly paradise it seems-
Of cypresses, green lawns, and streams

And if your host you wish to please
Converse of nothing else but these

...but more importantly...are you gonna shout that "wah wah" from outside the door? cause who said the "ovaries out" crowd gets to go to mushairas...what has the world come to...

homeinkabul said...

whatever dude, we 'ovaries out' crowd rock the mushairas.

The true question is, when you invite us, will we attend?

Q. A. Shah said...

We just really fear that you're gonna sing cheesy wedding songs all night, and stop of from lamenting about the oh so important topics of wine and women.

homeinkabul said...

Hmm, I didn't take the poem to discuss identity. My interpretation was to let go of day-dreams and come back into your skin...I like your interpretation though.