Sunday, March 27, 2011

Your Sunday Poem

This from Kabir (c. 1440-1518), translated from the Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, in the New York Review of Books, April 7, 2011

Except ttat It Robs You of Who You Are

Except that it robs you of who you are,
What can you say about speech?
Inconceivable to live without
And impossible to live with,
Speech diminishes you.
Speak with a wise man, there'll be
Much to learn; speak with a fool,
All you get is prattle.
Strike a half-empty pot, and it'll make
A loud sound; strike one that is full,
Says Kabir, and hear the silence.


Alon Perlman said...

I think Kabir in Arabic means great, maybe even Awsome.
Not sure about Hindi.
Thanks Ann, for turning me on to this wise old surfer.
And perfectly timed.

Strike it again!
Hear the Silence, Hear it!

Bev. De Witt-Moylan said...

The most recent CSUSB Magazine had a note on a new first book of poetry called "torch song tango choir" by an associate professor of English there, Julie Sophia Paegle, child of Argentine and Latvian immigrant parents. The article quotes her - "While publishing books of poetry has never been the last decade, it has become much, much harder. With each passing year, the competition for book prizes becomes fiercer." It is hard to know if she means that the outlets are fewer or that the poets looking for outlets are greater in number. Perhaps both.

In any case, the title is intriguing, while the book involves "a sensual and tactile dance through family history...monumental figures such as Katherine of Aragon, Eva Peron and Billie holiday...[and]...the bandoneon, an accordion-like instrument, as a backdrop... ."

Churadogs said...

Re Poets and books of poetry. Yes, which is why I encourage my readers to please, Pllluuueeeze, go buy some books of poetry. Many are out in paperback so are affordable. Support your local poet. Support your non-local poet. Buy yourself some poetry, or as the Persian sage put it: If thou has but one loaf of bread, sell half and buy hyacinths for the soul.