The best lay in town is a poem
I hear I am one of the most successful living poets in the world these days. And if someone asked me, “How in the hell did that ever happen?” I could respond, “Well, I worked my butt off, and I have been lucky at poker, and the heart is more powerful than I knew.” The Unseen, I think, is willing to back our efforts if one’s tears have fermented. [...] Probably, there is no movement or sound or scent or thought — or awaiting experience –that did not come from something She cooked up in a wild mood one night, rang the dinner bell for, and started the myriad souls vast migration to chow down on the Infinite, on the Divine, that someday we will swallow whole.
But for now, maybe the best lay in town is a poem, or any art that merits an ovation from you — be that applause just a lingering twinkle in your eye that someone else can get a hit off of, or the corners of your mouth turned up in a grateful silence. I believe art can be a lover, as wonderful as any. But all forms, and especially names, become a prison at some point that can cause mental illness if one cannot consciously escape them at interludes.
A Poem by any other Name…
I bumped into Daniel Ladinsky when looking for information about ghazals, a traditional Persian or Urdu poetry. Ghazals led me to the poets Ghalib and Hafez, and Hafez/Hafiz led me to Daniel Ladinsky’s “by Hafiz and Daniel Ladinsky” poetry. At first I thought Ladinsky had interpreted Hafez in the same way that Coleman Barks interpreted Rumi, but Ladinsky’s “Hafez” is more of an “inspired by” that has become widely misattributed to Hafez. Quotables can be like that, especially online.
The combination of honest-to-goodness poetry and misattribution got my attention – I do so love a culture-related puzzle – and here I am sharing The Huffington Post with QuoteSnack readers. “The best lay in town is a poem” is quite a line.
How’s your Persian? If you happen to be a student of beautiful classic ghazals and would like to record yourself for QuoteSnack, please contact me. I’d love to post Persian or Urdu readings, alongside good English translations.