Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"A Thousand Splendid Suns"

As with most writers, we read....and read. I often look at reading as not only an enjoyable past time, but also look at authors as mentors who stimulate ideas and help us to use our imaginations in an intelligent way.

Books can reach you on many levels, especially well-written books. The book I finished recently, "A Thousand Splendid Suns," by Khaled Hosseini, did reach me on many levels. Set in Afghanistan, and spanning a thirty year period, it was educational and helped me to see a culture that is very different from my own. Focusing on a friendship
amidst a great deal of pain and loss, it reminded me of the incomparable tie of friendship. The way women were treated - and still are in many areas - allowed me to realize the fortunate upbringing I had being born in the United States - where I've always had freedom and have never been treated as property. Lastly, written by a true storyteller, it reminds me of how good writing can really touch you. I hope to read many more stories by this author in the future.

The book's title was based on a poem by
Saib-e-Tabrizi, a seventeenth century Persian poet (translated into English by Josephine Davis). I thought it was beautiful and really depicted the authors love for the city of Kabul as well as his hope for the future after so much destruction.

We all know how a place can stir deep emotions and evoke rich memories. I have not visited this particular place, but it does sound beautiful. And I know we all have our own special place held in our heart that stirs the same feelings:
"Ah! How beautiful is Kabul encircled by her arid mountains
And Rose, of the trails of thorns she envies
Her gusts of powdered soil, slightly sting my eyes
But I love her, for knowing and loving are born of this same dust

My song
exhalts her dazzling tulips
And at the beauty of her trees, I blush
How sparkling the water flows from
Pul-I Bastaan!
May Allah protect such beauty from the evil eye of man!

Khizr chose the path to Kabul in order to reach Paradise
For her mountains brought him close to the delights of heaven
From the fort with sprawling walls, A Dragon of protection
Each stone is there more precious than the treasure of

Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls

Her laughter of mornings has the gaiety of flowers
Her nights of darkness, the reflections of lustrous hair
Her melodious nightingales, with passion sing their songs
Ardent tunes, as leaves
enflamed, cascading from their throats

And I, I sing in the gardens of
Jahanara, of Sharbara
And even the trumpets of heaven envy their green pastures"

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