The Sufi’s Garland

The Sufi's Garland by Manav Sachdeva MaasoomFull Title: The Sufi’s Garland: A Tribute to Emily Dickinson, Antonio Porchia and Rabindranath Tagore
Author: Manav Sachdeva Maasoom
Publisher: Roman Books (2011)
Publishing Date: 25 March 2011
Number of Pages: 104
How long it took me to read: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Where I got this book: Uncustomary Book Submission
ISBN: 978-93-80040-02-8

Like a Moth to a Flame

There is always time to celebrate work inspired by Rabindranath Tagore.

Favorite Five

Whittling 14 down to 5…I propose that the top 5 quotes from this book are:

5. “no poet is a speaker, a seer herself
nor muse nor voice nor musing elf
a poet, a true one, is a tree, a forest
showering on soldiers all her flowers
sprawl, buds, fruits, finally herself
becoming, paper, becoming, a feeling.” (p.25) ~XLII

4. “And when I learned that feelings of worth, that feelings of worth have more to do with works of respect, producing works of respect than working for respect, then I, I lost my fears, my fears of retiring, of retiring unbeknownst…and strived freely” (pp.8-9) ~I

3. “my muse knows naught of my moods, arriving with a glint
abandon this, renounce that and that, time for another stint” (p.48) ~XCII

2. “I have learned from myself much
but couldn’t to myself much teach.” (p.16) ~XXIV

…and my pick for the No.1 quote is…

1. “some see things as they are: others as they are” (p.82) ~CXCI

Conversation with the Reader

While I read, I write, and as I write, I read. Here’s some of what I wrote while I read this book:

“I still don’t understand my connection with books tied to anniversaries of the births and deaths of their influential characters. The Sufi’s Garland is yet another piece of my perplexing puzzle. The book is, in part, a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore’s birth into this world—a world of which he attempted to make sense despite the many illogical catalysts that veer life’s travelers off their paths. It isn’t even with reverence that I approach such a painter of words, for that would minimize the expanse of Tagore’s contributions. It is more with timidness that I gently caress the pages he douses with his depth in hopes that some of it might rub off on the tips of my fingers. With this, I approach the first page of Maasoom’s work.”

“ ‘A sword of grass, a line of a lip, a ribbon unraveled by the pull of surprise…but where is the color of the petal?’

‘I’m sure I must have it here somewhere.’

‘Perhaps I misfiled it. Do you remember how to access the backup?’

‘Maybe it’s filed under ‘Nature’, or maybe I put it in the ‘Miscellaneous’ folder…No, not that one. That’s where I put the stuff I haven’t had time to go through yet…Do you want some coffee?’

“My response to On My Venetian Storias ~XCVI:

“I have been to Venice and felt its storia
Depressed its sinking dominion and almost slipped on its molding muck
I’ve bumped into the Alemani
Blind-sighted by cascading tears
Mourning the once taking of the thing that I still haven’t managed to rid
If only the mort gages weren’t so high
For content would I be to revel in the spoils of yesteryear
If only to sip from the cup of modern day rituals and native grapes
No need for translation, we all share the same forked tongue of fables and myths and historias”

“My response to CIII:

“and as I stretch my third eyebrow
my strength within is also pulling thin
so thin time’s tears leave tears in the fabric meant to clothe and warm and shield from all lands and hands and incessant strands of fake pearls and beads of sweat that melt away the shiny sheen and only leave dull stones behind.
morning? what about tonight?”

“A wise man pronounced that ‘every judgment is not an observation but every observation is a judgment.’ To that, dear one, I ask you, have you been observant today? No judgment. Just wondering.”

“I heart words for words fill my heart like the richest Bostonian custard enveloped in its soft coat of youth fool memories and topped with choco lateness. Is it too late to have a nibble of unwarranted retribution, or did we finish all the leftovers at confession?”

“Poetry can be chewy. Sometimes you want a bit of a break; let the jaw rest for a while. After all, it has all that clenching to do at night. To disconnect from within, I plug into my email. I find news of a new Twitter follower. I go to meet him. He doesn’t eat meat. He lives with cows, knows how to survive Survivor and even has time to write. I read some of his blog. He writes about Hemingway and his 6 word story. I write my own. I don’t recommend it unless you’re prepared to slap yourself with a wet truth you were doing such a great job of hiding from.”

“If nothing that will happen will happen again, then why wonder how things will turn out or plan for a way to prepare? But wonder and plan we must, for as with all living things, the imagination too must eat. Food for thought where thought is food for the elemental among us.”

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