Persian Poet (1210-1291) Saadi Quotes and Poetry (November 2015)

Susan's Thursday Note November 5, 2015
Quotes and Poetry by Saadi (Persian Poet 1210-1291)

Good morning!!  Daring to pull back the curtains after the winds all night I find the world is still there.  Slightly disheveled, but present nonetheless.  Little birds have not yet ventured out to observe the damage to their little nests, sleeping in this morning after a night of being blown almost out of their homes.  My angel of dawn is at my east window with bright fall sunlight almost blinding me to not notice her peering in.  She shows me her gift for this day.  A pink little rose and a perfect small pumpkin.   An odd pair.  Showing me the transitions of the seasons again come and go with their own time frame.  Beautifully changing places to help time continue it’s course we have no control over.  Nature again helping us realize these seasonal transitions are transitions in the musical movements of our own lives.  Showing us life continues forever to change.  Winds.  Calm.  Beautiful.  Hard.  Daylight.  Blackness.  Dusk.  Dawn.  Constantly changing as the scenes outside our windows.  All part of our score.  

This week I read a quote on friendship I really loved with only the name Saadi underneath the quote. “A friend whom you have been enjoying your whole life, you ought not to be displeased with in a moment.  A stone is many years becoming a ruby; take care that you do not destroy it in an instant against another stone.”  I found that Saadi was a Persian poet who lived from 1210-1291.  His poem on human empathy is inscribed on the gateway entrance of the United Nations building in New York City.  Below are quotes and poetry by Saadi.  Written 800 years ago.  Beautifully written so far away from Persia to be reflected upon by those near the cornfields of Nebraska today.  Time is such an odd word.  It can seem short when seeing 800 years when thoughts are the same, yet so long sometimes when only one day separates moments. 

“The Grass of God’s Garden”

I saw bouquets of fresh roses
Tied upon a cupola of grass.
I asked: “What is despicable grass
To sit also in the line of the roses?”

The grass wept and said, “Hush!
Companionship does not obliterate nobility.
Although I have no beauty, color, and perfume,
Am I not after all the grass of God’s garden?”

“The Pearl and the Ocean”

A drop of rain trickled from a cloud into the ocean.  When it beheld the breadth of its waters it was utterly comfounded:  “What a place is this Sea, and what am I?  If it is existent, verily I am non-existent.”  Whilst it was thus regarding itself with the eye of contempt, an oyster received and cherished it in its bosom.  Fortune preferred it to a place of honor; for it became a renouwned royal Pearl.

Saadi at the Grave of His Child

Whilst I was at Sanaa I lost a child – why talk of the blow which then fell upon my head?  In this garden (the world) no cypress ever reached its full stature that the blast of Destiny did not tear its trunk from the root.  It is not wonderful that roses should spring out of the earth when so many rose-like forms sleep within its clay.  In my melancholy and distraction whilst dwelling on his image, I erected a stone over the spot where he reposeth.  In terror of that place, so dark and narrow, my color paled, and my senses failed me:  When from that disturbance my understanding came back to me, a voice from my darling child struck mine ear – “If that dark spot make thee feel desolation, recall thy reason, and come out into the light.  Wouldst thou make the night of the tomb as bright as day, light it up with the lamp of good works.”

Inscription on Entrance gate of United Nations Building  

“Bani Adam”
The sons of Adam are limbs of each other,
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest
If thou hast no sympathy for the troubles of others
Thou art unworthy to be called by the name of a human.

Misc. Quotes by Saadi

Have patience.  All things are difficult before they become easy.

It’s no virtue to gain the whole world.  Just gain the heart of one person.

The best loved by God are those that are rich, yet have the humility of the poor, and those that are poor and have the magnanimity of the rich.

The rose and the thorn, and sorrow and gladness are linked together.

O intelligent man what is the tongue in the mouth?  It is the key to the treasure-door of a virtuous man.  When the door is closed how can one know whether he is a seller of jewels or a hawker?  Although intelligent men consider silence civil, It is better for thee to speak at the proper time.  Two things betoken levity of intellect: to remain mute when it is proper to speak and to talk when silence is required.

Thank you for letting me again enter your world early this morning.  For taking time in your song to think with me.  As Eleanor Roosevelt says, “Great minds discuss idea; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”  I keep that quote where I can read it often, helping me constantly check myself as words form.  Life.  So short.  Words.  So quick to form.  Can we mentally have the discipline to check ourselves in the middle of conversations and thoughts and use the short time we have to read, think, speak, sing, and write what is worthy of the gift handed to each of us by angels peering in each of our windows?  Words now in our minds from centuries ago.  Roses.  Thorns.  Sorrow.  Gladness.  Linked.  Heart of one person.  Patience.  Lamp of good works.  Treasure door.  Fresh roses.  Dead grass.  Beautifully working together.  Poor.  Rich.  All loved.  The dawn has already left the scene.  The sands in our timers continuing to pass through, not seeming to care whether we can keep up. 

Roses.  Thorns.  Sorrow.  Gladness.  Time.  Beautiful in it’s patterns.  Today.  The angel has appeared at each of our windows with her kind smile.  In my home she seems to also be holding two croquet mallets out for a little child.  Having the uncanny ability to give gifts to each of our souls regardless of where we are in our song.   Encouraging us to look to the heavens where the promise of peace and perspective awaits.  Encouraging us to drop mentally to our knees where calmness is handed.  Encouraging us to look into eyes.  To call someone if only for a few seconds to hear their voices.  To take the time to try to remember a voice of someone that we miss in our minds.  The sounds of their voices encouraging us to see the rose at the same time as the pumpkin.  Helping us keep the perspective of the seasons of life.  Roses.  Thorns.  Sorrow.  Gladness.  All making the word life beautiful.  Our gift.  Susan

Latin for this week:
rubinus – ruby
margarita – pearl
compassio – to sympathize, compassion
descheveler – dishevel (from chevel in French meaning hair)