Subway Revelations On Poetry

It was on the subway today, and while reading Anthony Giddens’ book Runaway World that I remembered, out of the blue and out of context, the second line of a ghazal:

خوش درخشید ولی دولت مستعجل بود

And though hard I tried, I could not remember the first line whole, though words like these from it came to me:

خاتم
سلیمانی

and a vague intonation

I was struck by the sound, meter, and syntax of the line:

خوش درخشید ولی دولت مستعجل بود
خوش درخشید ولی دولت مستعجل بود

خوش درخشید ولی دولت مستعجل بود

خوش درخشید ولی دولت مستعجل بود

***

I wrote on a scrap:

“Good poetry reveals the inherent, built-in possibilities of the language in which it is written.”
(I am sure someone else has already made the same statement in better words, or in a 400-page book.)

“Good poetry reveals the inherent, built-in possibilities of the language in which it is written.”

Coming to think of it, this makes of good poets something more than artful and crafty wordsmiths: it makes them into prophets.

**

خوش درخشید ولی دولت مستعجل بود

خوش درخشید ولی دولت مستعجل بود

**

I wish I could remember the first line to this, and if possible, the whole ghazal, and the poet.

***
!
UPDATED:
November 16, 2008

i looked up the ghazal, which belongs to hafez -of course- and it goes:

راستی خاتم فیروزهء بو اسحاقی
خوش درخشید ولی دولتِ مستعجل بود
حافظ-

it’s even better than i thought.

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~ by safrang on April 18, 2007.

2 Responses to “Subway Revelations On Poetry”

  1. […] We have wondered about the inherent poetic potentialities of languages before – in the form of subway revelations here. […]

  2. […] see the full post about the incident here. […]

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