Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Carpe Diem #1170 fountain

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you know that I host on Mind Love Misery's Menagerie also a weekly feature. That feature is titled "Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille" and today I posted there a new episode of that feature with a wonderful poem by Hafiz to inspire. So if you are interested in that poem by Hafiz, than feel free to visit Mind Love Misery's Menagerie.

This month is already one week old and I think I have inspired you with beautiful poems from Persian poets. I have visited and read all your wonderful blogs and websites and I am glad that I had the time to visit you all. Of course I will try to do that but as you all know ... time is not always at my side.

Today I love to share a wonderful poem by Saadi. This poem is also extracted from "The Bustan" (The Orchard) Saadi's first book of poems. It's about an inscription on a fountain ... I think it is a beauty, but that's just my humble opinion.

Ruins of Shahnameh or Jamshid's Kingdom
This poem is titled: "Inscription on the fountain of Jemshid (or Jamshid) and I think it needs a little bit explanation. We have to dive into Persian history to find more about Jamshid. So here it goes.

Jamshid is a mythical King in Iranian traditions and culture and there is a long history behind him. In Avestan scripts and Pahlavi scripts and ancient literatures, there are a lot of aptitudes and magnificent figures which allocated to him. In Shahnameh, Jamshid is the son of Tahmouras and he was a charismatic king, who lost his divine charisma due to his arrogance and vanity and finally he was killed by Zahhak.

Jamshid was the prototype model ruler, he was a legendary figure like king Solomon, his wisdom knew no bounds and he had demons and beasts and birds under his control, he could see the future and had total dominion over the entire world, yet, exactly like Solomon he grew arrogant and considered himself to b divine, as a result, his kingdom was invaded and he himself cut in two using a saw by Zahhak or Azhidahak. Interestingly, after the Islamic conquest of Persia, the similarities between the story of Jamshid and Solomon were not missed and for a long time Persepolis which is called Takht-e-Jamshid or throne of Jamshid was also known as the throne of Solomon.

In Avesta, Jamshid is the son of Viunghant, and he has called Yima. Jamshid name is constructed from two parts, Jam and Shid. In Avestan Jam means "equal and twin" and Shid means "Sun", and Jamshid means "Sun's twin". In the second chapter of the Vendidad of the Avesta, Ahura Mazda asks Yima (Jamshid), to receive his law and bring it to men. However, Yima refuses, and so Ahura Mazda charges him with a different mission: to rule over and nourish the earth, to see that the living things prosper. This Yima accepts, and Ahura Mazda presents him with a golden seal and a dagger inlaid with gold.
King Jamshid
In Iranian Literature, especially in poetry, he is mentioned with some mythical characteristics. The most well-known metaphor of Jamshid's characteristics in ancient Iranian literature is "Jame Jam"_ Jam Chalice_. which mentions to immortality . This metaphor frequently has been used in great Persian poetries' Divanes (Poetry Collection Books), such as Hafez, Movlana, Sa'adi, etc. Jamshid was said to have had a magical seven-ringed cup, the Jām-e Jam which was filled with the elixir of immortality and allowed him to observe the universe. Also Jamshid's capital was erroneously believed to be at the site of the ruins of Persepolis, which for centuries was called Takht-i Jamshēd, the "Throne of Jamshid". (Sources: quora and wikipedia)

Now we know a little bit more about Jamshid and I think this will help to understand and become inspired by the poem of Saadi.

Fountain in one of Jamshid's palaces

Inscription on the Fountain of Jamshid

I have heard that Jamshid, of happy disposition, inscribed on a tablet at the head of a fountain:
"Many, like ourselves, have breathed at this fountain, and departed, and closed their eyes upon it.
"They captured the world by courage, or violence, but carried away with them nothing to the grave.
"They departed each one, and of that which they had tilled nothing remained to them, save a good or an evil name.
"When thine enemy hath fallen into thy hands, grieve him not further; he hath already tasted enough of sorrow.
"Better hold in thy keeping a discomfited enemy alive, than to have on thy neck the stain of his blood."

© Saadi (13th century)
Taken from “The Bustan” and translated by Samuel Robinson

Not an easy poem to become inspired by I think, but I have given it a try:

fountain of life
your heartbeat against mine
for an eternity
early sunrays cherish your body
in despair I flee away from you 

© Chèvrefeuille

Awesome ... sorry that sounds very immodest, but this is one of my best tanka ever I think.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 13th at noon (CET). I will try to post our new episode, a new Universal Jane (for the weekend), later on. For now ... have fun!

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