Friday, July 20, 2007

Just a Poem


Then said Almitra, 'Speak to us of Love.'
And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them.
And with a great voice he said:
When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you,
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning,

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself,
He threshes you to make you naked,
He sifts you to free you from your husks,
He grinds you to whiteness,
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
That you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh,
but not all of your laughter,
and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, 'God is in my heart,'
but rather, I am in the heart of God.'

And think not you can direct the course of love,
if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart,
and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
and a song of praise upon your lips.


Maybe not just a poem. Ya?

(Oil painting of Kahlil Gibran by Yusef Hoyiek)


kimster said...

Ah.. I love Gibran although I am a little illiterate and don't always get what he was on about.
But still, very, very good poet.



you've got the Malay thing now -- the rendah diri syndrome.

you a little illiterate?
yeah, right!

who gets what poets are on about, anyway? they are from a different planet. but we read them, regardless.

kahlil gibran -- much like those Muslim philosophers/poets from Persia, Lebanon... they write like that-lah...

Anonymous said...

I was told recently that it's the yearning for love or something that you dearly want that makes it so painfully sweet! I've been warned that once its yours it looses its charm and precious value. True?

Reminds me of old Malay love songs which were often about unrequited love i.e "cinta tak sampai atau tak terhingga"! Thus the "old" Malay is more often than not nostalgically "makan hati berulam jantung" which is the most heart rending of emotions.

I've loved Gibran for years and find his thoughts about love and many other things so so enduring!



i know... really. really, i agree.
even about death..kahlil takes you/your departed soul to the heavens, as he describes the journey. haunting. i wept. like i was dead and saying adieu to this earth.



your question:
'I was told recently that it's the yearning for love or something that you dearly want that makes it so painfully sweet! I've been warned that once its yours it loses its charm and precious value. True?'

hmmm... i can only speak for myself. TRUE TRUE....hahaha

Anonymous said...

Aduh Kak Ena!!!!

Zap zap zap! the words went straight to the heart.

Dalam bahasa melayu nya - menusuk kalbu!



of course they went straight to your heart -- you are an incurable romantic. heheh..

Anonymous said...

ok ok. out with it! what's with this love poem? first, the Joseph Conrad quote and now kahlil gibran's mush mush?
don't think i haven't noticed!
it's not like you, Aina.
out with it, i say!

Anonymous said...

Yeah Nuraina A. Samad, listen to Cleopatra - out with it!


cleopatra, elviza,

Hey....can't a girl just go er, er, philosphical one time and then, melancholic another?

I love conrad and then, i am remembering that i also love gibran.

Anonymous said...

-- originally, Death be not proud --

LOVE be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor love, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, 5
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee does goes,
Rest of their bones, and souls delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell, 10
And poppie, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better then thy stroke; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And love shall be no more; love, thou shalt die.

Keanorlinsya said...

Come to think of it, yeah aunty ena. U have been busy this past week am i right? Ade big gaps between blog posts. TWB comments lambat update and i cant recall when was the last time i chat with u.


Forgive me, dont mean to gang up on you with cleopatra and aunty elviza. Heh heh heh!

Hi&Lo said...


Thanks. Very inspiring.

"Love crowns you and so shall crucify you."

If one has not been crucified, one has not loved enough. Is the journey worth it?

Forgiveness is not an elective option in the curriculum of life. It's the hardest test to pass. I am still groping my way through the mess.



khairil anwar : whew! er...profound. dayshat nya!

kea: now now kea.. don't go being suspicious. Aunty Ena has been busy working and running errands.
cleopatra tu macam kenal aunty ena saja... she's just being kepoh.
as for elviza, well.... dia kan lawyer yang jugak inquisitive..
Eeesh.... postkan satu poem yang amat inspiring pun ada sangkaan sesuatu....Adoi mak....

Hi&Lo: I am not talking as though i am an expert on love. far from it. i, as countless others including you, I gather, have been down that road. someone once told me that pleasure of love lasts but a moment, pain of love lasts a lifetime. I don't know about that.
i know love is not an easy ride. never easy. there is aching because, i believe, that comes with loving someone. as for forgiveness -- didnt someone say that to err is human, to forgive divine. but that's easier said than done, i know.
but do we not pardon as long as we love?
take care...

Anonymous said...

Kak Ena & Kea,

"Aunty Elviza?" (Gasping for air, I am choking!)

Reality bites Kak Ena.... it surely does... isk isk isk



haha... i did not notice that.
AUNTY elviza, my word!
must tell Kea that just becos you sound old doesnt mean you are old.

Kea, my dear, you mustn't call a young lady like elviza Aunty.
Kak Elviza, ok, kot?

Anonymous said...

Death be not proud is probablyJohn Donne's (1572-1631) greatest piece of work.

It is beautiful yet haunting. My apologies to Donne and his fans for butchering his poem. I did it cos I felt Nuraina's poem needs a balancing act.

When love becomes proud ...

Khairil Anwar

Anonymous said...

My apologies to John Donne's fans. Death be not proud was probably his best piece, and certainly my favourite. I butchered it not because my pen is mighty but because I thought Nuraina's "Love" needed a little tampering. Cos when love becomes proud ...


khairil anwar,
hmmmm... why does my "Love" need tampering, a balance?

for you, khairil anwar (oooh... ambil nama ni, kok?)

Song by John Donne

SWEETEST love, I do not go,
For weariness of thee,
Nor in hope the world can show
A fitter love for me ;
But since that I
At the last must part, 'tis best,
Thus to use myself in jest
By feigned deaths to die.

Yesternight the sun went hence,
And yet is here to-day ;
He hath no desire nor sense,
Nor half so short a way ;
Then fear not me,
But believe that I shall make
Speedier journeys, since I take
More wings and spurs than he.

O how feeble is man's power,
That if good fortune fall,
Cannot add another hour,
Nor a lost hour recall ;
But come bad chance,
And we join to it our strength,
And we teach it art and length,
Itself o'er us to advance.

When thou sigh'st, thou sigh'st not wind,
But sigh'st my soul away ;
When thou weep'st, unkindly kind,
My life's blood doth decay.
It cannot be
That thou lovest me as thou say'st,
If in thine my life thou waste,
That art the best of me.

Let not thy divining heart
Forethink me any ill ;
Destiny may take thy part,
And may thy fears fulfil.
But think that we
Are but turn'd aside to sleep.
They who one another keep
Alive, ne'er parted be.

Anonymous said...

Nuraina I share with Rumi's poem - so simple yet so poignant:

"In your light I learn how to love.

In your beauty how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest, where no one sees you,

But sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art. "

Rumi was talking about his love for God but this-wordly me was thinking of someone else! HaHa!

Anonymous said...

On the point that was made about the love that is not had being the love that is most haunting, this is remarkably expressed in another one of Kahlil Gibran's works, and one of his earliest, finest tales: "Broken Wings". Make sure you go for the version published by Alfred A. Knopf (as opposed to, say, Penguin Arkana, which overkills on the translation). I wonder if anyone here has read it.



i love Rumi :

here is a verse that my dad used to just read and think about during his incarceration, and something i turn to when days are dark and i am feeling so down:

I sought a soul in the sea
and found a coral there
beneath the foam for me
an ocean was all laid bare

Into my heart's night
Along a narrow way
I groped and Lo! the light
an infinite land of day


i'm sorry... just to clarify. i did not mean that kahlil gibran was a Muslim. He was a maronite Christian but was very much inlfuenced by other religions including Islam and the mysticisms of the Muslim sufis.

Anonymous said...

Aiyah... I don't have one single literary bone in my ample body. Literarily complicated poems or writings simply go straight over my head.

My literary naivety notwithstanding, I do detect a hint of "pensiveness" in the air at 3540 Jalan Sudin.

At the risk of having my head bitten off, I have to echo the sentiments expressed by the "gang of 3".



really? hard to believe that you don't have "a single literary bone in my ample body".

oh sesat sesat --- pensive? me? all read too much into what i have posted (this latest).

oooh....just one of those moments when many things hit you all at once.
one of those things.. yeah, one of those things.
wakes you up from a looong deep slumber.



yes...i have read "Broken Wings'. Sad, poignant, touching.
i am sure many of gibran's fans haver ead it too.
thanks for mentioning it.

Anonymous said...

One last shot at love OK Nuraina!

" The minute I heard my first love story
I stated looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along. "


If it's human love we're looking for, it's indeed transient and fickle.
It's God's love and love for God that's enduring!

Be it human or Divine, love is so very precious isn't it Nuraina!



i so agree with you : Love - human or divine -- is os very precious.

so, why do people betray love?

Unknown said...

Extract from John Donne's
A Valediction Forbidden Mourning.
This poem maybe run of the mill for others but to me it is a powerful metaphysical manifestation of LOVE.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th' other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.


nak tak nak:

i agree with you,

Anonymous said...

when love becomes proud..
you cannot say you're sorry
you don't know how to
although it was you who was hurting me

when love becomes proud
you become selfish
thinking only of yourself

when love becomes proud
it is easy to be hurting me
so easy

when love becomes proud
you become arrogant

and you have lost perspective
of what love is all about

Anonymous said...


Lust,Greed,Jealousy,Vengeance betray LOVE

Keanorlinsya said...

My deeeeepeeessst apologies Kak Elviza.



I think LUST is the most relevant and most committed.

Anonymous said...

to nuraina a samad:

gibran was a maronite christian, not "those muslim philosophers from persian/lebanon."

he left for NY at age 12 though, after ottoman authories confiscated his family's properties.

yup haha.


the history boys,

thank you for correcting me.. but if you had looked at my second response to Kimster, you'd see that i had already clarified, and said that he was a maronite christian. and yes...i am, and i'm very sure countless of his fans, are very aware of his background etc...

thank u.