Tuesday, 9 October 2007

More Arabic and Persian poetry

More Arabic and Persian poems from Omar Pounds Arabic & Persian Poems. The first, Love is by al-Abbas ibn al-Ahnaf (a person about whom the Internet seems to know very little).

Dear love
'tis less than I have vowed
but let me gather in
and bring
all love
from earth and see and sky;

let us to its equalling
that love,
when death has ravished us,
encase our shroud.

A short one from an unknown author:

the shore

to their king

and then

Abu Najm Abu Ahmad ibn Qaus Manuchehri (in Persian: منوچهری), Pound lists him simply as Minuchihri, was Persian royal poet (died 1041?) famous for his lyricism and celebrations of nature, wine and No Ruz. He specialised in references to earlier Arabic poems, picking lines from famous Arab authors he could identify with. Annoyed by a lack of appreciation of his poetry at the royal court, he penned the following witty poem, a recantation of his previous work and a criticism of contemporary poets.

Tell me, why such a foul mood?
If I speak gently you take offence or cry,
my kindness you count all lies.

Sorry, I murmur, as I try...
Why, you grunt, apologise?
Cut out all the platitudes,
astringent as honey
from the eucalyptus tree
for me
     our hour together lasts just that,
for you
     its overspill will bring you back.

I send you my verses
citing passion without passion
three this week and two before

Perhaps you do not like the stuff
or blush. Your silence
gives me no excuse for more.

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