The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday

I Talk To My Inner Lover
By Kabir
Translated by Robert Bly

I talk to my inner lover, and I say, why such rush?
We sense that there is some sort of spirit that loves
    birds and animals and the ants --
perhaps the same one who gave a radiance to you in
    your mother's womb.
Is it logical you would be walking around entirely
    orphaned now?
The truth is you turned away yourself,
and decided to go into the dark alone.
Now you are tangled up in others, and have forgotten
    what you once knew,
and that's why everything you do has some weird
    failure in it.


"Poetry's roots in sacred song are undeniable," writes Mary Karr in this week's Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World. "I would rank Robert Bly's translations of Kabir -- a 15th-century Indian ecstatic poet raised Muslim and infused with wisdom from both the Sufis and Hindus -- up there with the Hebrew Psalms and the Song of Solomon...Kabir lists 'birds and animals and the ants' in a way that draws the eye from the soaring sky to the earth's crawly, exoskeletal creatures. In doing so, he connects a vague, blank heaven and the tiny, miraculous particular. He inspires us to re-observe the world."

It rained all morning -- leaves as well as water, our deck and front porch are covered again though we swept both a couple of days ago -- and there was a tornado warning in the afternoon, which made us chicken out of going downtown for the anti-Prop 8 march and Harvest Days at the National Museum of the Native American. Instead we went to see Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (a must-see for our family given the penguins), which we all enjoyed, possibly more than the kids in the audience who didn't get the West Side Story and Joe vs. the Volcano references that made us laugh and who were scared during the scenes with guns and poachers. We loved the gorgeous matte paintings of the African savanna and the Lion King parody -- while this is no Mulan, it's a lot better than many animated movies I've sat through. And on the way home, the storm was clearing and there was an enormous rainbow over our neighborhood!


We put on the Maryland-UNC game, but Maryland was losing when we went in to dinner and winning when we finished, so we decided the safe superstitious course of action was not to watch the end...which worked out well, and the Terps won! In the evening, after the kids had finished homework, we discovered that Romeo + Juliet was on cable, which I am embarrassed to admit that I had never seen though Daniel watched it in school when they did Shakespeare last year. I wasn't always a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio or Claire Danes, though they have both grown on me as they've grown as performers. I enjoyed that film a lot, too -- Baz Luhrmann sometimes infuriates me making the showmanship more important than the story he's telling, which doesn't matter so much with Moulin Rouge, though I prefer not to have "at lovers' perjuries/they say Jove laughs" cut out of my Shakespeare. Still, it's visually engaging and probably worth seeing just for the "When Doves Cry" church scene.

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