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A Rain of Pearls, Cascade of Wine


(medium: photocomposition, response: week 9)

There are two primary things that I want this photocomposition, which pulls text and image from Ghazal 21 of Hafiz’s The Green Sea of Heaven, to evoke:

1)    The “rain of pearls” referenced in this photocomposition is part of my consideration of our Week 9 readings on how ghazals are composed and the central structural elements explained in “Ravishing DisUnities.” The “rain of pearls” to me is a metaphor for the disunity of poetry that defines the ghazal. It is that very disunity that makes the ghazal form so compelling to me, and perhaps to others. There can be an internal thematic content, but each couplet is disjointed from the others. This “disjointed” structure is something I appreciate deeply and which I think is essential to representing actual patterns of human thought. The image of the “rain of pearls” (see p. 10-11 of The Green Sea of Heaven) is a powerful one because it can also be connected by a concerted effort into a string of pearls. The string of pearls is perhaps a forced or temporary unity, but nonetheless, each pearl is a valuable human thought – in its own right, and also as part of a potential whole. This, to me, is the beauty of a ghazal’s structure.

2)    The symbol of wine, which is pervasive in ghazals and other forms of love poems, has been compelling throughout (its influence is also evident in my other blog posts). The reason I find the metaphor of wine salient extends beyond the theme of intoxication. Intoxication certainly lends itself to an understanding of the inaccessibility of God, of a fulfilled love – there is no true trance state – wine, poetry, and ritual practice are all ways of engaging the higher senses in order to get closer to God. But beyond this, we have the image of the spill, because the fluidity of the image is part of what appeals to the listener – it is a dangerous fluidity, enabling one to cross boundaries and access some partial segment of the beyond. The photo itself, with multiple colors and a depiction of the liquid nature of the wine, is intended to indicate that boundaries between the divine, love, physical, and intangible are all more permeable than we imagine.

~ by kirin on April 24, 2014.

One Response to “A Rain of Pearls, Cascade of Wine”

  1. Never knew this, thanks for letting me know.

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