Notes on Truth
— This poem describes our journey from the reality of life to the truth of death.
— The introductory “then” connoting ‘in medias res’ is reminiscent of the opening of Dante’s journey to the inferno in the middle of his lifetime.
— "Maximum point," "graph", and "function" are used in their algebraic senses.
— "Plumes" stand, metaphorically, for our worldly concerns; when they fall, we descend like a piece of stone!
— "Plane" is used in its geometric sense.
— "Seemorgh" is the source of knowledge and insight in Persian mysticism.
— "Truth", versus material reality, is idealistic and beyond the perception of the senses.
The following may also help in understanding this poem:
— In Persian mysticism, particularly in The Conference of the Birds (Mantiq-ot-Tayr) by Attár (the greatest Iranian mystic, 1145?-1221?, and Rumi's master), translated into English by Edward FitzGerald as Birds Parliament in 1889, birds gather and decide to start questing for their Lord. With innumerable hardships, only 30 survive and succeed to reach the peak of Qáf (/qahf/), the mystical abode of their Lord. 'See', in Persian, is 30 and 'morgh' equals bird. Their Lord, Seemorgh (30 birds), is their own reflection!
— In algebra, you can draw the graph or curve of, for instance, the mortalities for a time span. Graphs are drawn in terms of equations formed by a function and a/some variable(s). Some graphs rise to a maximum point and then descend, some descend toward a minimum point to start ascending afterwards, some only descend or rise. I've drawn the curve of men's life as rising to its maximum point in their youth, the peak of the Qáf, and then descending. I've also had in mind Sophocles's riddle of the Sphinx in Oedipus the King where man has been described as a beast with 4 legs at first in infancy, unable to rise from the ground, then standing upright on 2 legs, in the middle of life, and finally, when inclined towards the earth again, standing with the help of a stick (upon 3 legs).
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Copyright © A. Hemmati | Year Posted 2021
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