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Saturday, August 20, 2005


#2745 Last Kiss on January 21, 2001
SameerJB #40

[...The prose is flexible in structure but rigid in meaning. A prose writer will get mad if you find a different meaning in his/ her writing than what the writer intended....] and [...The jihadis/ deobandis/ wahabis seem to be reading Quran as prose and would like it to mean exactly what it meant for the bedoinns of 7th century Arabia. Now if you think it as a poetry, like Veda, the changing of meaning/ interpretation is actually a credit to the beauty of Quranic poetry and the appreciation of the Poet...]

Not necessarily so...The Supreme Court of USA is given the task of continuously re-interpreting the 8000 worded document according to changing needs and times. It can be done; is shown to be done. And sadly, some still don't learn.

Fully agree that good poetry is multi-layered and lends to changing interpretations that seem to survive changing times.

When Ghalib wrote:

Gulshan maiN bandobast ba'rang e deegar hay aaj
Qumri ka halqa e tauq bairoon e dur hay aaj

he was only lamenting the hijack of India by the English. Today some can interpret it as the stranglehold of the third world, the disparity between North and South, the tyranny of the First world, even the strangle hold of the mis-named talibans in that country to the north.

Oh, without realising I slipped into discussing the ever lasting nature of immortal poetry. There is more to it than choice words, expression, metre, rhythm, thought. This is an intangible element that makes it timeless and universal. There have been thousands of good poets in the past two hundred years. Other than serious scholars of the language, how many of the rest of us know their names. How many of them are still relevant?

Back to your post. The three interpretations you provided are relevant and interpretable from the original submission. But it is more you ingenuity than the poet's!

Let me give you this light assignment. Consider these short poems and tell me how your imagination would unravel the shades of meaning..

Jis roz qaza aa'aye gi
meray dar'd ko jo zubaaN milay
chalo phir say mooskuraiN
yeh mausam-e-gul
hameeN say apni nava hum kalaam hoti rahi
yeh kis khalish nay phir is dil main aashiyana kiya
kis sheh'r na shohra hua na'dani-e-dil ka

Sit'm ki rasmaiN buhat theN
baat bus say nikal chali hay...
Hum pur tumhari chah ka ilzaam hee tou hay
subha phootin tou aasmaaN pay t'ray
boonyaad kooch tou ho

Will be back to shed some light on this.

#48 by SameerJB on January 22, 2001 6:54pm PT
temporal # 43: (For temporal only) The poet is obviously morning the loss of something very dear or he/ she is concerned about the deteriorating situation but unable to come to understand the causes of effects. The last line, "bunyad kuch to ho" is very important. It clearly suggest an analytical approach based on reason and logic for understanding of the disappearance of stars in the morning-and extrapolate it to look for reason behind pain and suffering. From this standpoint, you can relate Buddha meditiating under a bo tree thinking about the meaning of life, pain and sorrow, Muhammad contemplating in Hira cave, or Jinnah formulating a plan or ideology as a basis for Pakistan. You may also think of Mansour Hallaj accepting death sentence with a smile because he thought he knew the truth/ reason (oneness with God). The story of Al-Rushd (Averros) and his trail about his philosophy (reason with God at the center) or Al-Rawandi, the great mutzalli (Sp?) and his philosophy (reason with no God).

Also include in this list, Gallileo and what must be going through his mind after being house arrsted by the Church and had to retrieve and criticize his own work. He knew exactly why stars disappear in the daylight. But the best I have kept for the last. It is Socrates and his last speech and thoughts before drinking hammock from the bowl. He did not want to live without thinking/ reason.

The story of Buddha, Gallileo and Socrates could be related to those two stanza you posted in # 43.

This is the downside of the poetry. Too many seemingly different interpretations of the same piece of art. The chaotic mumbo jumbo actually provides an excuse for reason and logic to enter into the picture and settle the interpretation to few more likely ones by looking at each at a time and accepting or rejecting them. For example the Buddha and Muhammad would be rejected because they were not famous at the time of their meditattions. "kis sheh'r na shuhra huva........." is not applicable to them. Similarly, "hum par tumhari chah ka ilzam hi to hey" fits with Mansour for his love of God, for Socrates for his love of Athens and for Gallileo for his love of science. But Mansour did not worry about reason for stars disappearing in the morning and he is thus also rejected.

After rejecting all except Gallileo and Socrates, I will go with Socrates.

No more assignments please!!! It takes too much time.


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