Blogging / On Writing

Hafiz – The Gift – Getting Guidance from Poets

I used to get up early, sit on the rug in my living room, take out Hafiz The Gift and ask a question from my heart. I’d flip through the book randomly and see what the great poet’s response was to my question.

Do you do that in your life? Go to a book of favourite poems by a favourite poet? At what time of day do you do this or is it inconsistent?

I went to Hafiz in the morning so I could use his wisdom as guidance for my day. It was a kind of poetic meditation – both for the body and the soul. Because I was alone and seated comfortably and quietly, my breath my only companion, the space was peaceful and so was my body. My mind and connected soul, on the other hand, was rarely at peace. Especially on a morning before school…knowing that getting two toddler ready was a poetic feat in itself.

For my soul and from my heart, I’d ask a question.

Let’s do it now:

Will tomorrow be a productive day? What say you on productivity? 

Hold the book over my heart. Inhale. Open and flip. Stop.

p. 231

Poem Title: The Intelligent Man

The intelligent man quickly realizes

The impotence of

Gold.

********

That’s the poem!

First: define impotence: the condition or quality of being impotent; weakness

Second: define impotent: not potent, lacking power or ability

What is his message to me?

Is productivity in this case the gold? Should I not place so much important on how much I get done?

I’m assuming that when he writes ‘man’ he means, human.

Reflect on the idea that gold – success, shiny things that are measured (awards? contests? submissions?) are empty. Or at least…they can feel that way in the end? When they are acquired, gotten, awarded…?

How many times have I heard an actor say in a speech or a writer say in an interview: I didn’t take on this role…I didn’t write this poem because I wanted to get awarded for it. I did it because it’s my life’s passion. It’s my heart’s desire. I did it because I can’t breathe if I don’t do this art. It’s not the gold, is it? It’s not the accolades. It’s not the money (as much as we really do need it sometimes) that keeps our poetic souls on fire.

In nine words, a brilliant poem.

Shall we strive to be Hafiz ‘intelligent’ poets today? And not worry about the productivity, the outcome, the statistics, the amounts, the awards, the acceptance letters…

Yes. Let’s be intelligent today.

I will strive to be so. And I will also think about my question next time as well. I will think about my daily intentions.

Next time I’ll ask: What will today’s journey teach me?

 For more information on Hafiz, click here.

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