Friday, 25 June 2010

To hymn her whom to husband Love

To hymn her whom, to husband Love, I mend my lyric lame
Fret metal yet, Hephaestus, thy helpmeet, to but tame!
Cage none can Beauty, no, nor, high wrought, Art exult
With Ares, nay, say Eris! Aphrodite's caught in rut!

Night taught her Civic daughter, Hesiods strive for a hand
Cold to hold the krater or whose wooes to understand
Empedoclean traitor! to wive words what you paid
Derides Confucian brides- a blemish on white jade!

Kumara- Ki koun hai Raam aur koun hai bandha
Who torture will the Uttara kanda?
Can Canetti's ant-hill, Valmik erupt?
Or Words' General Will, Love abrupt?

Listening to a Hindi film song (from Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Devdas') with the refrain - 'Maar dala' - I was suddenly reminded that The simple Hindustani word maarna (to kill) is cognate with the Latin Mars and the Greek Ares- Aryan War Gods how different- or the same?- as my Kuladevam- Ku-maara...

Question- which poem about the poet's wife (I think it was by Tao Chien) was called ' a blemish on white jade' - a phrase otherwise associated with the guy who kept on repeating these lines from the Odes
A blemish on white jade
Can perfect be made
But Words twistable at all
Cause Heaven to fall.
Confucius immediately married his elder brother's daughter to the gentleman in question.

BTW- does anyone have a link to a video of Aziz Mian Qawwal's 'Main kya jaanoon Ram tera gorakh dhanda?'


Shiela said...

Tao Ch'ien was a poet recluse. The 'fu' described as 'a small blemish on white jade' was not about his wife but a beautiful zither playing woman. The poem shows how contemplation of nature can still the excessive emotions stirred up by amorous entanglement.

windwheel said...

Many thanks. That's an excellent link you have provided.
My memory is that I read some article or essay or something thirty years back when I was an Undergraduate, majoring in the Economics of Inebriation, which contained lines I paraphrase as follows-
You look up from your darning
and become busy with the view...
You don't see, you never see
a man in chains...
I do recollect that it was some Prince or other who made the 'blemish on white jade' crack- poems were supposed to be about failing the exams or getting falling down drunk- not about wives absorbed in household chores and unconscious of their own beauty.
But, if as you have shown, the poem was about some sing song girl then it's a psychological curiosity that I should remember it so differently.

Sanjay K said...

"A blemish on white jade
Can perfect be made
But Words twistable at all
Cause Heaven to fall."

WTF dude? No such lines exist in the Book of Odes.
I googled 'blemish on white jade' and got this-
A blemish on the white jade
Can still be polished away
A blemish on these words
Can not be removed at all.

Where did you get
'words twistable at all
Cause heaven to fall?'

What happened? Did you read about this in Urdu or some other language you don't know and so can't help mistranslating?
Jus' sayin.

windwheel said...

My very dear Sanju Baba,
Sweet of you to submit a comment specially as its way past your bed-time, and even if tomorrow isn't a School day, still there's your Dance class and/or Shaka meeting or Cub Scouts jamboree or wherever it is modern Mummies and Daddies send their precious prodigies on a Saturday to keep your grubby little hands off your teensy weensy todgers, and secure the brinjals and cucumbers in the fridge from being jammed up your rectums in your pathetic attempts to prognosticate the degree of Gayness you will grow to attain.
(Not that there's anything wrong with being Gay. It's just that since your arsehole is already larger than your entire body- you just aint gonna be getting any action later on, so your sexual orientation, or lack of it, is a matter of not the slightest importance.)

Apropos of your foolish and condescending comment, no, I did not read the Analects in Urdu, nor (before you ask) in Chinese though, it is true, I have composed quite a sizable body of verse in that language- by the by no means facile process of substituting the letter 'l' for the letter 'r' throughout the body of the text.
I may further point out that your 'criticism' of my post- if I may dignify your dirty minded scribbling under so august a rubric- is utterly invalidated by the fact that you've got a tiny wiener, smell bad, and your parents only pretend to love you coz they lost a bet and were forced to adopt the bastard child Lallu Prasad Yadav conceived after a one night stand with Ram Vilas Paswan.