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Ode to Love: Ghazal of Ghazals

Happy is the small moth who catches sight of a brilliant candlelight in the distance

And, moved, flies straight towards it only to get singed by its flame.

Nevertheless it strains to stay near the fire’s warmth.

How easy it is for a small kitten to be consumed by a ball of yarn,

To be fixated on unraveling it to its empty core.

Likewise I am consumed by the pursuit of elusive love

Believing myself to be following a thread but never really knowing whether it’s real.

It does not matter whether the thorn falls on the leaf or vice versa,

A hole still gets made and both must address the change.

The feverish devotion of a poet to his inspiration begets art—just so,

Sreeja seeks relentlessly the secret to God’s works and finds unconditional love.  


Because I chose to recite a ghazal in Persian for the Ghazal project, I felt curious to try my hand at writing my own. Like other ghazals, mine is about love in its devotional, ecstatic form. Unlike others, however, I tried to capture some of the consequences or results of pursuing such a love, whether it is expressed to God or another human being. The first and fourth couplet speaks to the strain or pain of seeking and finding passionate love. The second and third couplet speaks to the great uncertainty or potential for disillusionment that accompanies one consumed by passion. The last couplet speaks to the best possible result that could happen whilst one pursues passionate love–that, regardless of whether it is found, one finds the ability to love without condition. The overall message is: as we ought to be consumed by passionate devotion toward a God we cannot see, the resulting pain and despair causes us to turn towards those whom we can see and love. It is this kind of love without return towards those we can see that ultimately brings us to Him and quenches our passion.


May 5th, 2016 at 4:53 pm