Thursday, January 16, 2020

Metaphor - the heart of mystic poetry

Don't hand me another glass of wine.
Pour it in my mouth.
I've lost the way to my mouth.

  Much of mystic poetry is meant to be read and interpreted as metaphor, not fact.  Consider Plato's allegory of the cave and the escapee trying to describe the beauty of sunshine to the prisoners who have known only darkness and shadow.  It is necessary for the poet to re-interpret their experience into something relatable. This may seem like stating the obvious, but there are many Professors who insist that Omar Khayyam continued reference to wine in his Rubaiyat is a reference to alcohol:  this may not be true.  The reference to wine in mystic poetry is a metaphor for the pure love of the divine and the feeling of intoxication it brings.  In the poem below, when the poet makes this reference "God is singing within your heart", this suggests an experience, similar to the emotional response of hearing a beautiful voice.
    Perhaps the narrow interpretation of mystic poetry comes from a lack of faith - is it really possible to experience the touch of God, the love of God?  Perhaps there is doubt that God can be so personal and real? Or there is an inability to accept that there may be something that exists outside one's realm of study - all must fit into what is already known, otherwise it doesn't exist.  One can only guess the source of the difficulty.   But the way to read and experience mystic poetry is with the heart; as if listening to a beautiful piece of music.  The notes follow a logic of their own, the beauty comes from letting it flow through your heart unimpeded and feeling the feeling it creates. 

 Here's the new rule:
Break the wineglass, and fall toward the glassblower's breath.

 I know who you are, I know who I am
I know the truth and the meaning of love.
God is singing within your heart
breathing inside your breath
more close than a hand within a glove
or a thought within the head.
If you listen, my friend, with an open heart
you will know this declaration's true
the Truth?  You forgot some time ago
the surprise - the revelation's you
you wrote this poem
yes, you
back then
when your heart was filled with ecstasy
blind drunk on the clear wine of love.   



  1. Indeed metaphor not fact... From my own experience it is difficult to translate "mystical experience" into words/metaphors in order to give the reader the flavor of the felt experience - something that is so intimate and personal that really can't be "described" accurately. One can only hope that the reader will *feel* the experience from the heart, as the writer here says; that the reader will find a resonance within themselves with "The Mystery." It also helps if the reader has experienced something similar... and can relate from that. :) _/\_

    1. the revelation's you
      you write such poems
      yes, you
      since your heart is filled with ecstasy
      blind drunk on the clear wine of love. 🧡