Grasslands (a commentary)

This is my commentary on a poem that was inspired by two people, one living, one long since passed into the fabric of history.

The very much living is Craig Morris, a South African Grassland Scientist and erstwhile poet; I say ‘erstwhile, because it could be argued that he is a poet. The first evidence to be presented by the prosecution for this to be the case, is that, earlier this year, he associated himself with another eight or nine people, who have since become known as the Grass Roots Poets Group, ‘Gang’ or #GRPG for short; this group is comprised primarily of poets, a phrase that I coined, ‘grass roots poets’, simply because that is what we are. The #GRPG came together in the first place through their membership of that worldwide social media phenomenon, known as Twitter.

This group somehow came together in a way I can’t quite explain; perhaps through some kind of vicarious, mutual need for support, probably through a simple love of writing – of poetry in particular – and a creative drive for expression. However it come about, it quickly came to the point where our Twitter conversations entered the realms of dialogue, which I can only describe are one minute plain silly and the next just surreal; one minute erudite, the next simply daft. But whatever the reasons, they welded a group of kindred spirits together in a way that I could never have imagined when I first joined the Twitterverse, amongst people who have never met each other in the flesh. Craig was a part of this from the outset.

The second piece of evidence is that he is prone from time to time to display a descriptive writing talent that is beyond mere prose; beyond the ordinary. He has the eye of a poet; a bright albeit sometimes devious mind that is clearly capable of vision. And so it was a week or so before the poem “Grasslands” emerged and found its way onto the page that he posted some photos on Facebook, which showed an expansive grass field with some mountains on the horizon; the message, if not written, was quite unmistakably that this was his idea of paradise; such is his enthusiasm for his subject.

The second contributor to this poetic evolution is the Persian philosopher and poet, Rumi. As well as my own recently discovered interest in this man, who lived eight hundred years ago, variously in what is now Afghanistan, Turkey and Iran, he has also seemingly inspired Craig, notably with this poem:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”

And so it was that I felt compelled to write this poem. No undue credit for it is due to Craig for providing not just the seeds, not just some of the words for it, but, well, yes, its inspiration.

(Read the Poem)

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3 Responses to Grasslands (a commentary)

  1. Jamie Dedes says:

    This is one of my favorite Rumi quotes. Welll, everything Rumi is favorite. Here’s a different translation ~

    Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,
    there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
    When the soul lies down in that grass,
    the world is too full to talk about.
    Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’
    doesn’t make sense any more.

    Like

    • PoetJanstie says:

      How observant of you, Jamie. This is the very piece that helped inspire the poem. Thank you for commenting and once again visiting My Poetry Library. If you dig any deeper, you will surely find some of my early poetry, which is not very good at all!

      Like

      • janstie says:

        P.S. Thanks for the alternative translation, by the way, Jamie. I replied to this via the header menu, not seeing under which text you had placed it, forgetting that I’d written one translation of it in the commentary.

        Like

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