Sunday, March 12, 2017

Carpe Diem #1171 wounded heart

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am in heaven today. Why? Because I spotted the first cherry blossom, high, in my Sakura. Time to party almost, but I will wait until I see the first blossom more low in the Sakura. But what a joy to see that it's starting to bloom again. It gives me the feeling of spring ... Today it certainly feels like spring here in The Netherlands, because it's a very sunny day, a little wind, but nice temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius. So ... yes spring is here.

Today I love to bring you another episode of our Haiku Kai in which I will introduce another wonderful Persian poet. No ... today not a poem by Rumi, Hafiz or Saadi, but a beauty (in my opinion) by Imrani (or Emrani).
Imrani (or Imrānī; 1454–1536) was a Judæo-Persian poet, being "one of the most prominent Jewish poets of Iran". Emrānī was inspired by the earlier poet Shāhīn to choose "as his field the post-Mosaic era from Joshua to the period of David and Solomon".

The Book of Conquest (tr. by Vera Basch Moreen)

His major work, Fatḥ-Nameh ("The Book of the Conquest," begun in 1474, unfinished), describes in poetry "the events of the biblical books of Joshua, Ruth, and Samuel". Emrānī's last great work, Ganj-Nameh ("The Book of the Treasures"), is "a free poetic paraphrase of and commentary on the mishnaic treatise Avot".

As you have read this episode I have titled "wounded heart", it's not the title of this poem, but I think it was the right choice to title this episode as I have done.

My body exhausted, my soul injured, and my heart wounded
I am estranged from the Beloved and distant from myself
I am worn out as the wretched
I am distraught and mournful as the beggars
Having lost the essence of youth,
My soul has grown old for want of strength
Yet!  Despite all these pains which I have,
I will survive should You become my friend
O You whose doorway is the shelter for the dervish
To you everyone has attached the hopes of his heart
Since I have returned to Your Doorway,
Lift me in kindness and sooth my soul

© Imrani

This poem isn't based on the biblical books of Joshua, Ruth and Samuel, but it's more based on the "Avot" or "Pirkei Avot" (also rendered as Pirkei Avoth or Pirkei Avos or Pirke Aboth), which translates to English as Chapters of the Fathers, is a compilation of the ethical teachings and maxims of Mishnaic-period Rabbis. It is part of didactic Jewish ethical Musar literature. Because of its contents, it is also called Ethics of the Fathers. Pirkei Avot consists of the Mishnaic tractate of Avot, the second-to-last tractate in the order of Nezikin in the Mishnah, plus one additional chapter. Pirkei Avot is unique in that it is the only tractate of the Mishnah dealing solely with ethical and moral principles; there is little or no halacha (laws) found in Pirkei Avot.

Pirkei Avot
I have to admit that I had never heard from the "Pirkei Avot" and that's nothing to be ashamed of of course, but I think it's worth reading ... just because of its ethical and moral principles. Maybe it's a nice theme for our next Namasté episode, I will give it a thought. 

Okay back to the poem of Imrani. A poem in which he describes in my opinion despair and the will to find his path again. Isn't that what Basho did for example? Basho decided around 1683 to change his style of haiku writing, more a free style way. A haiku style which I call "Kanshicho", which means "in the Chinese way", of haiku-ing I love to use as you all know, but after three years Basho returned to the classical way of writing haiku. He even revised several of his haiku written in that Kanshicho-style. As you maybe remember in his last years Basho was anxious to promote his "Karumi" way of haiku-ing or "lightness". For example this one:

White chrysanthemum
I look holding it straight
no dust at all

© Basho

In Basho's mind "Karumi" was about "becoming one with the object of your haiku, being one with nature, as we all are trying to do with our haiku skills. Basho ... well he was the best haiku poet I think.

To create a haiku or tanka based or inspired on the poem by Imrani will not be easy, but here is my attempt:

looking in the mirror
my hair turned gray and thin
deep wounds of time
however ... I smile as I see the cherry
bloom again, another year to my account

© Chèvrefeuille

Hmm ... I don't know. I think it's true. I become older, but I still enjoy life as it comes. Like the Cherry tree in my garden revitalized after the dark winter praising spring with its blossoms. Time isn't on our side, we will become older, but not in mind.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 17th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode,filtered light, later on. For now have fun!

PS. Our five years survey will close at the end of this week. So if you love to give your opinion on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai? Please fill in the survey.

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