Sunday, November 5, 2017

Carpe Diem #1298 Fire of Spring

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend, I had for sure a great weekend. I am looking forward to your responses on our weekend-meditation, but even more I am looking forward to your responses on this new (regular) episode. This month we are exploring "The Rubaiyat" by Omar Khayyam, a 'gathering' of quatrains. This month I try to create posts based on my own insights, but also based on several sources. Why? Well ... I am not that familiar with the work of Khayyam, so I just need to use other sources.

Today I skip again a few of the quatrains and I love to share with you quatrain 7. This episode I have titled "Fire of Spring", the title is extracted from this 7th quatrain. I was immediately caught by those words in this quatrain. What does it mean "Fire of Spring"? Well I have given it a thought and I think I can explain why these words are used.

Fire of Spring by Kyokophotos (Image found on DeviantArt)

"Fire of Spring" means in my opinion the return of life after winter. Nature rises like a phoenix from its ashes. Flowers bloom, trees start to get leaves again and blossoms. It's a "fire work" of colors as spring brings new life. But ... on the other hand I also can explain this as a reference to the resurrection of the Lord. Isn't that what spring is? The Son of God arose from the dead giving humanity a new life, He was the source of our rebirth. So maybe this is also what "Fire of Spring" means. Maybe it points also to Mohammad, the Prophet, who got the revalation of the Qu'ran and started preaching Islam. There are so many meanings to discover in "The Rubaiyat" so many layers. And isn't that what we try to bring into our haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry forms?

Let me give you the quatrain to work with:

Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly – and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)

Fire of Spring (shutterstock)

“Come fill the Cup” – the eat, drink and be merry theme again; don’t regret the past (Winter), live for today (Spring) – for life is short. “The Bird of Time” image is very neat.

Similar sentiments are to be found in John Gay’s The Beggars Opera (1728), in the second verse of the 22nd Air:

Let us drink and sport to-day,
Ours is not tomorrow.
Love with youth flies swift away,
Age is nought but sorrow.
Dance and sing,
Time's on the wing,
Life never knows the return of spring.

© John Gay

In this quatrain I also sense something of "Seize the Day", or "Carpe Diem", isn't that a nice coincedence? A quatrain in which our Kai is hidden. In one of the sources I use there is also a phrase that describes "Carpe Diem".

Lord Byron made a famous use of “carpe diem” in a letter to John Cam Hobhouse, written from Bologna, and dated August 20th, 1819:

[...] “My time has been passed viciously and agreeably – at thirty-one so few years months days hours or minutes remain that ‘carpe diem,’ is not enough – I have been obliged to crop even the seconds – for who can trust to tomorrow? tomorrow quotha? to-hour – to minute –- I can not repent me (I try very often) so much of any thing I have done – as of any thing I have left undone – alas! I have been but idle – and have the prospect of early decay – without having seized every available instant of our pleasurable year.- This is a bitter thought – and it will be difficult for me ever to recover the despondency into which this idea naturally throws me.” [...] (Byron’s Letters and Journals, edited by Leslie A. Marchand (1976)

first day of spring
days become longer
time flies

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you did like this episode and I hope that I have inspired you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 12th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, another beautiful verse from "The Rubaiyat", later on.

(Sources: Wikipedia; Bob Forrest Com)

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