Fragrance of Life

Some evening when moon was my talking
The beauty of your face, celestial came to mind

Deep in darkness of night was my setting
Curls of your hair, sable came to mind
Rolling tears betwixt the dust and blood was my seeing
Martyrs of your enchanted eyes, copious came to mind

Someday a sage “younglings of Paradise” was his saying
Residents of your hearth, eternal came to mind

Opening the pages of the Divan  of Kamal like blossoms
Fragrance of life emanates thus your scent, redolent came to mind

Concept: Kamal saw all things through the eyes of a lover. Be it late night worship or prolonged loneliness or be it the slaughters he eye-witnessed during the Mongol raids or be it in a lecture learning about hereafter. He saw nothing but beauty and he found nothing but love in his heart.

In his unparalleled poetic creations he started often with the attributes of a woman he adored and then quickly within few verses admires the love and beauty of the Creator. All the verses in this poem read about the beauty and enchantment of a woman but suddenly the last verse deals with reminders of the Creator.

In those days to those poets, love was simply love and all love emanated from the love of supreme Lover of the universe the Creator ITself. Therefore, a woman’s love and affection was like a springboard to catapult a man towards his Lord. Some of the Sufis believed that women are like a bridge to God and indeed such is clear from Kamal’s work although he was not known to have a woman in his life!

Language: Farsi poets always used singular Arabic words as ornaments to enhance the beauty and passion of their work. In this poem the Arabic word Ghilman [52:24]  is used, in such magnificence and mastery in the middle of a Farsi verse. It is like a 'pin' preserving the beauty of a rare butterfly for generations to behold. The Arabs rarely use this word and its rarity makes it like a jewel.

52:24 And round about them will serve, (devoted) to them. Youths (Ghilman) as Pearls well-guarded. 

وَيَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ غِلْمَانٌ لَهُمْ كَأَنَّهُمْ لُؤْلُؤٌ مَكْنُونٌ


© 2008-2002,  Dara O Shayda