The Center for Peace and Environment convened the Evening of Poetry on Peace and Nature on September 20th 2012 on the International Day of Peace, in Tehran....I then spoke on the role that Persian poetry has played in introducing Iranian civilization and culture and promoting dialogue. Iranian poetry has a profound human and universal approach. The war against humans and the war against nature have a common root, I noted. We need to reach inner peace before we can come to terms with each other and peace with nature, I said. This poetry session intends to promote a message of peace with nations and nature on behalf of the Iranian nation we hope all conflicts will be resolved with dialogue and understanding, I stressed.
and her website includes this classic poem
God, in spite of the skeptics,
caused spiritual gardens with sweet flowers to grow
in the hearts of His friends.
Every rose that is sweet-scented within,
that rose is telling of the secrets of the Universal.
Their scent, to the confusion of the skeptics,
spreads around the world, rending the veil."
persian poetry has a long history and Iran is not a monolith...
One of the problems about modern "poetry" in the west is that no one in the USA reads it anymore.
Why? It has become like "modern art": a means of protest against the values of ordinary folks, or else poorly written prose that is meaningless, hard to understand, tepid, or just plain stupid.
However, poetry still lives, and maybe someday it will recover it's place in society.
Why do we have poets? Because they express what we ordinary folks can't find words to express. The last poet that people actually quoted was Robert Frost
(e.g. "Something there is that doesn't love a wall That wants it down...yes, it was written about an actual wall, but the phrase also describes the heartbreak of the Iron curtain that separated families and civilizations)
Nowadays, often we use a phrase from a song or a movie, but in the past we looked to poets.
Garrison Kielor's daily writer's almanac podcast has both a commentary on writers and a daily poem that he reads for your enjoyment. RSS feed here.
Sep. 25, 2012
Small as a peanut,
Big as a giant,
We're all the same size
When we turn off the light....
So maybe the way
To make everything right
Is for God to just reach out
And turn off the light!
The CSMonitor also has a poetry corner on their newspaper site. LINK
Just like new Spring snow,
Stars, the color of sunrise
Fall on morning grass.
– Karen Kenyon
StrongVerse poetry page LINK
A Midwinter Night's SleepIt's Christmas again,
And the party's dying down.
Drunk and red-faced,
The bank manager dozes
On the diving board,
Bending it with his rotundity so
The tip dips into the cool pool,
Until someone nudges him
And he awakes at the bottom
Of the deep end drinking
Chlorinated water from
A beer can.
Tomorrow he'll service
Your home loan.
No Worst, there is None – Gerard Manley Hopkins
No worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.Comforter, where, where is your comforting?Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?My cries heave, herds-long; huddle in a main, a chiefWoe, wórld-sorrow; on an áge-old anvil wince and sing —Then lull, then leave off. Fury had shrieked ‘No ling-ering! Let me be fell: force I must be brief.”‘O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fallFrightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheapMay who ne’er hung there. Nor does long our smallDurance deal with that steep or deep. Here! creep,Wretch, under a comfort serves in a whirlwind: allLife death does end and each day dies with sleep.
I often quote this when I comment on someone who has quick and easy answers to the problems of pain, sorrow and depression: Hold them cheap May who ne'er hung there!