Tor Ulven

The shaftPark_of_idols

I am falling and

Falling

down through

The shaft

within myself

crossing through layer

after layer

of ruin cities

where only sleeping jailers

are left

crossing pre-linguistic habitations

and the cave wall with imprints by

the first hand: your hand.

Falling. Falling

I am not

nevertheless

bottomless.

But the bottom also

is falling. And the falling

is falling. None

obtains

the last

word.

Tor Ulven (1953–1995)

Collection of poems: For us, Signs

Tor Ulven was a Norwegian poet. He is considered one of the major poets of the Norwegian post-war era, and he won several major literary prizes in Norwegian literature.

His early works, consisting of traditional modernist verse poetry, were heavily influenced by André Breton and the surrealist movement. As the 1980s progressed he developed a more independent voice, both stylistically and thematically. The later part of his work consists mainly of prose. He committed suicide in 1995 in Oslo, the city where he was born.

To you and for you!

To you and for you!

love-song-by-the-new-moon

If only you were aware… o moon

You, who are you…?

You…

You… are all humans!

Face of a woman

Face of a woman

Gaze of Silence, a 1932 painting by Klee that took abstraction even further.

I dwelled in a face of a woman

who dwells in a wave

that the tide flings off the cost

that had lost in its shells

its harbour.

I dwelled in a face of a woman

who mortifies me,

who loves to be

in my sailing blood

to the very end of madness

a deaden lighthouse

Adonis

Ali Ahmad Said Esber (Arabic: علي أحمد سعيد إسبر‎; transliterated: alî ahmadi sa’îdi asbar or Ali Ahmad Sa’id; born 1 January 1930), also known by the pen name
Adonis or Adunis (Arabic: أدونيس), is a Syrian poet, essayist, and translator. He has written more than twenty books and volumes of poetry in the Arabic language as well as translated several works from French.

Imprisoned in Syria in the mid-1950s as a result of his beliefs, Adunis settled abroad and has made his career largely in Lebanon and France. A perennial contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature, he has been regularly nominated for the award since 1988 and has been described as the greatest living poet of the Arab world.

Ono no Komachi

Selected Poems

Ono_no_Komachi 1

1

Though I go to you
ceaselessly along dream paths,
the sum of those trysts
is less than a single glimpse
granted in the waking world.

2

How sad,
the end that waits me –

To think at last

I’ll be a mere haze

pale green over the fields.

3

Blossoms blooming
Yet making no seed are
The sea-god’s
Garlanded
Whitecaps offshore.

4

On such a night as this

When no moon lights your way to me,

I wake, my passion blazing,

My breast a fire raging, exploding flame

While within me my heart chars.

5

The flowers withered

Their color faded away

While meaninglessly

I spent my days in the world

And the long rains were falling.

6

A thing which fades

With no outward sign

Is the flower

Of the heart of man

In this world!

7

Whose bloom will fade,

And yet the color does not show,

Is this alone:

In the world of love the flower

That opens in the human heart.

8

In this bay

There is no seaweed

Doesn’t he know it -?

The fisherman who persists in coming

Until his legs grow weary?

9

More heart-wrenching than

To sear my body with live coals

Against my flesh,

Bidding farewell on Miyakoshima’s shore

As you part for the capital.

10

Did he appear,

because I fell asleep

thinking of him?

If only I’d known I was dreaming

I’d never have wakened.

11

The autumn night

is long only in name –

We’ve done no more

than gaze at each other

and it’s already dawn.

12

When longing for him

Tortures me beyond endurance,

I reverse my robe –

Garb of night, black as leopard-flower berries –

And wear it inside out.

13

Since encountering my beloved

While I dozed,

I have begun to feel

That it is dreams, not reality,

On which I can rely.

14

Tears that but form gems on sleeves

Must come, I think,

From an insincere heart,

For mine, though I seek to repress them,

Gush forth in torrents.

15

Yielding to a love

That knows no limit,

I shall go to him by night –

For the world does not yet censure

Those who tread the paths of dreams.

16

I know nothing

About villages

Where fisher folk dwell;

Why must you keep demanding

To be shown the seashore?

17

Now that I am entering

The winter of life,

Your ardor has faded

Like foliage ravaged

By late autumn rains.

19

How bitter it is to see

Autumnal blasts

Strike the rice ears;

I shall, I fear,

Reap no harvest.

20

This body

grown fragile, floating,

a reed cut from its roots…

If a stream would ask me

to follow, I’d go, I think.

21

Men call love

Is simply

A chain

Preventing escape

From this world of care.

22

His heart, grown cold,

has become my body’s autumn.

Many sorrowful words

may yet fall

like the rustling leaves.

23

I thought to pick

the flower of forgetting

for myself,

but I found it

already growing in his heart.

24

Those gifts you left

have become my enemies:

without them

there might have been

a moment’s forgetting.

25

Submit to you –

could that be what you are saying?

the way ripples on the water

submit to an idling wing?

26

The pine tree by the rock

must have its memories too:

after a thousand years,

see how its branches

lean toward the ground.

27

The hunting lanterns

on mount Ogura have gone,

the deer are calling for their mates…

How easily I might sleep

if only I didn’t share their fears.

28

Since this body

was forgotten

by the one who promised to come,

my only thought is wondering

whether it even exists.

29

This abandoned house

shining

in the mountain village –

how many nights

has autumn spent there?

30

If, in an autumn field,

a hundred flowers

can untie their streamers,

may I not also openly frolic,

as fearless of blame?

31

While watching

the long rains falling on this world

my heart, too, fades

with the unseen color

of the spring flowers.

32

Seeing the moonlight

spilling down

through these trees,

my heart fills to the brim

with autumn.

33

Upon my breast

Floats a boat of heartbreak

And I have just embarked;

There’s not a single day when waves

Do not soak my sleeves.

Ono no Komachi

(c. 825—c. 900)

Ono no Komachi (小野小町?, c. 825—c. 900) was a famous Japanese waka
poet, one of the Rokkasen—the Six best Waka poets of the early Heian period. She was noted as a rare beauty; Komachi is a symbol of a beautiful woman in Japan. She is also numbered as one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals.

The place of Komachi’s birth and death is uncertain. According to one tradition, she was born in what is now Akita Prefecture, daughter of Yoshisada, “Lord of Dewa”. Her social status is also uncertain. She may have been a low-ranking consort or a lady-in-waiting of an emperor, possibly Emperor Ninmyō (r. 833-850).

As a poet, Komachi specialized in erotic love themes, expressed in complex poems. Most of her waka are about anxiety, solitude or passionate love. She is the only female poet referred to in the preface of the Kokin Wakashū, which describes her style as “containing naivety in old style but also delicacy”.

There are legends about Komachi in love. The most famous is a story about her relationship with Fukakusa no Shosho, a high-ranking courtier. Komachi promised that if he visited her continuously for a hundred nights, then she would become his lover. Fukakusa no Shosho visited her every night, but failed once towards the end. Despairing, he fell ill and subsequently died. When Komachi learned of his death she was overcome with sadness.

Murmur of the breeze

Murmur of the breeze

Mevlana_Wajd Ecstasy Sufism

O murmur of the breeze

Go and tell the fawn to find sweet water

Only intensifies my thirst

I have a beloved whose love inhabits my insides

Should he so desire

He might trample my cheek underfoot

His spirit is my spirit

And my spirit is His spirit

When He feels desire, I feel desire

When I feel desire He feels desire

Mansur al-Hallaj

(c. 858-922)

Mansūr-e Hallāj; full name Abū al-Mughīth Husayn Mansūr al-Hallāj was a Persian mystic, writer and teacher of Sufism most famous for his apparent, but disputed, self-proclaimed divinity, his poetry and for his execution for heresy at the orders of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Muqtadir after a long drawn investigation.

Certitude

Certitude

My reason is to lose all reason

My religion is indifference to religion

A simple answer is enough

After doubt, wine has borne my certitude

The day just broken is already done

Tomorrow is not yet here

Be happy today

Unceasingly fill your cup

And seize this

The sole chance of your existence

Although everything is born of ourselves

Yours and mine are

but two miserable lives

To be, is drunkenness and ecstasy

Tomorrow is the downfall of an age

Omar Khayyam

***

Omar Khayyam

(May 18, 1048 – December 4, 1122)

Was a Persian polymath: mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and above all poet.

As a poet, he is the most famous poet of the East in the West through various adaptations of his rather small number of quatrains (rubaiyaas) in Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

He has also become established as one of the major mathematicians and astronomers of the medieval period. Recognized as the author of the most important treatise on algebra before modern times as reflected in his Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra giving a geometric method for solving cubic equations by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle. He also contributed to calendar reform and may have proposed a heliocentric theory well before Copernicus.

His significance as a philosopher and teacher, and his few remaining philosophical works have not received the same attention as have his scientific or poetic writings. Zamakhshari referred to him as “the philosopher of the world”. Many sources have also testified that he taught for decades the philosophy of Ibn Sina in Nayshapur where Khayyam lived most of his life, breathed his last, and was buried and where his mausoleum remains today a masterpiece of Iranian architecture visited by many people every yea.

Like water


The heart is like water

Passions agitate its surface

Rippling water in water

Creature-like, an utterance

Commingles both the good and bad

Like time, human beings body forth

As much of darkness as of light

Just as day illuminates before the night

So an extinguished star begets

Another brilliance

Similar to our vanished forbears

So we, similarly, must disappear

Time alone ensures its own endurance

As plainly as you can plainly see

Strangers in their native land are

Ardent practitioners of good

Whose intimates sever ties and turn

Frequentation to a widening gulf

Remember, should you have sealed

Friendship in the throes of poverty

Should prosperity arrive, remember

Al Ma’arri

Al-Ma’arri (full name in Arabic: أبو العلاء أحمد بن عبد الله بن سليمان التنوخي المعري, Abu al-‘Alā Ahmad ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sulaimān al-Tanūkhī al-Ma’arri, December 26, 973–May 10 or May 21, 1057) was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer. He was a controversial rationalist of his time, he attacked the dogmas of religion, and rejected the claim that Islam possessed any monopoly on truth.

Abu ‘Ali al-Muhassin al-Tanukhi (Tanukhi) was born in Syria and lost his sight at the age of four due to smallpox. He hailed from the city of Ma’arra (المعرة) in Syria from which his name derives. He then went on to study in Aleppo, Antioch, and other Syrian towns pursuing a career as a freethinker, philosopher and poet before returning his native town of Ma’arrat al-Numan, where he lived the rest of his life, practicing asceticism and vegetarianism.

He briefly travelled to the center of Baghdad where he drew a great following of both male and female disciples to listen to his lectures on poetry, grammar and rationalism. One of the recurring themes of his philosophy was the rights of reason against the claims of custom, tradition and authority.

Although an advocate of social justice and action, Al-Ma’arri suggested that women should not bear children in order to save future generations from the pains of life.

Al Ma’arri was exerting a notable influence on Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”. His collection of poems “Unnecessary Necessity” charts the tragic dimension of human experience.

Wandering

Wandering


In life I see a treasure

Dilapidated with each night

Days escape this ruination

Only time is undermined

Such days shatter all deception

The man denied a crust of bread

A shirt to close, a time to meet

Will prove himself a hard binger

I rise to combat or for pleasure

Can your opprobrium immortalize?

In your impotence to say my death

Let me contemplate it with my means

Never will I cease to drink

And savor pleasure

In reckless squandering

Of property and heritage

Tarafah ibn al ‘Abd (c. 543-569)

Tarafa, or Tarafah ibn al ‘Abd ben Sufyan ben Malik al Bakri (Arabic: طرفة بن العبد بن سفيان بن سعد أبو عمرو البكري
الوائلي‎), was a 6th century
Arabian poet of the tribe of the Bakr.

After a wild and dissipated youth spent in Bahrain, left his native land after peace had been established between the tribes of Bakr and Taghlib and went with his uncle Al-Mutalammis (also a poet) to the court of the king of Hira, ‘Amr ibn-Hind (died 568-9), and there became companion to the king’s brother. Hira was as the time a vassal of the Persian
Sasanian Empire. Having ridiculed the king in some verses he was sent with a letter to Dadafruz Gushnasban, the Persian Governor of Southern shores of the Persian Gulf, but Tarafa and his uncle managed to escape underway.

One of his poems is contained in the Mo’allakat.

His Diwan has been published in Wilhelm Ahlwardt‘s The Diwans of the Six Ancient Arabic Poets (London, 1870). Some of his poems have been translated into Latin with notes by B. Vandenhoff (Berlin, 1895).

Time

Time

I clasp the stem of time

My head a fiery tower

What, then, is this blood

Ever rooted in the sand?

Flaming instants nullify our words

My soul’s forgotten its passion’s

Purpose, forgotten its heritage

Hidden in house of forms

Forgotten what the rain recounts

What the trees ink inscribes

What cleaves me from myself?

Might I be more than one?

My history, my ruination?

My promised land, my pyre?

Might I be several?

Each interrogating the other?

Who are you and where from?

In this be madness

Then let madness edify

Let madness be my guide

Adonis

Ali Ahmad Said Asbar (Arabic: علي أحمد
سعيد إسبر‎; transliterated: alî ahmadi sa’îdi asbar or Ali Ahmad Sa’id) born January
1930, also known by the pseudonym Adonis or Adunis (Arabic: أدونيس), is a Syrian poet and essayist who has made his career largely in Lebanon and France. He has written more than twenty books in his native Arabic.

Adonis is a pioneer of modern Arabic poetry. He is often seen as a rebel, an iconoclast who follows his own rules. “Arabic poetry is not the monolith this dominant critical view suggests, but is pluralistic, sometimes to the point of self-contradiction.”

Adonis was considered to be a candidate for the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, but the awards went to British playwright Harold Pinter, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, British novelist Doris Lessing and French novelist J.M.G. Le Clezio.

In 2007 he was awarded the Bjørnson Prize.

Dizziness

Dizziness

Let the rock fertilise to protect us from the fever of dizziness

Fix the moment into eternity

Freeze the wave that hurts us

Into the ogre’s belly

If you truly are

the god of all seasons.

A voice then will whisper:

“What use is it to throw a purple veil

over this cursed vision?”

My soul cried with pain

as cold and dead I walked

across the markets of the city

while crowds were consumed by a ring of fire.

How could I protect them from fire, from dizziness?

Dig more deeply, gravedigger

dig the grave, dig!

Khalil Hawi

(1919 – 1982)

One of Lebanon’s best-known twentieth-century poets. Born in Huwaya (Syria), Khalil Hawi grew up in Shwayr (Lebanon). He studied philosophy and Arabic at the American University of Beirut, and he obtained a scholarship to enrol at Cambridge University, in England, where he was awarded his Ph.D. in 1959. He then became a professor of Arabic literature at the American University in Beirut. Within a few years, he established himself as one of the leading avant-garde poets in the Arab world. His poetry relies heavily on symbols and metaphors and images, and it frequently has political and social overtones. An Arab nationalist at heart, he repeatedly expressed his sense of shame and rage at the loss of Palestine in 1948 and at subsequent Arab defeats at the hands of Israel. He lamented what he saw as the Arab world’s political and cultural decay, and he expressed deep pessimism about the possibility of a true Arab cultural and political revival. After 1975, Khalil Hawi experienced the desperation felt by all Lebanese who had to watch their country’s slow descent into chaos, internal disintegration, and manipulation by outside powers. He was outraged by Lebanon’s inability to stand up to the Israeli army when the latter invaded on 3 June 1982, and he deeply resented the other Arab governments’ silence about the Israeli invasion. He committed suicide on 6 June 1982.