“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather today to celebrate the First Day of the Month of Qawl [Speech]

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“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

Except to praise Creation and its Source,
Of what use are tongues, and what of speech
If not to practice affirmation, to reach
Beyond the baser nature—to stay the course
Of destinies and mighty histories,
Ensure the memory of battle lines
Between the Greater World and the Lesser we find
We must occupy…for a time—the lies and inconsistencies
Within the rented present tense? Respeaking irrelevant truths
In vain imaginings applied to the important against the backdrop of the Word,
The most important, the conscious choice between what we’ve heard
With clarity within the heart and what we have been told of old, roots
And tendrils of hypocrisy are struck dumb with but a look,
Surely. These, the Leaves and Boughs of Sadratu’l-Muntahá, Branches
never silent as from out the The Primal Mouthpiece, the Perspicuous Book.

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2 responses to ““Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Qawl or ‘Speech’”

  1. Language is such a complex and delicate attribute of being. I suppose though that it ultimately is a finger pointing, a sign that represents something… and not the thing itself. It seems to often take on a self-importance that defeats its purpose and we must use it with care, for it can easily mislead. Yet it leads us so far. I find it useful to remember Wittgenstein’s caution:“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”

    • “I suppose though that it ultimately is a finger pointing, a sign that represents something… and not the thing itself….I find it useful to remember Wittgenstein’s caution: ‘Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.’” I think you’ve hit the nail on the head; in fact, I have to say that your “finger pointing” remark puts into a word or two precisely what I have sensed but never put to words myself so successfully as your comment has. Language that is human does in fact go as far as to “represent something…and not the thing itself,” and therein lies the trap for any with minds to know and hearts to experience. Vicarious knowledge is almost lethal to souls whose growth is so dependent on experience in life, a goal and realisation of which is clearly impossible while the mind roars on, in fact that, “roars so loud and thunders in the index.” Being adept at words, I have suffered all my life from the need to be wary of my own gift. Words so beautifully feed the mind while deeds, the soul.

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