On the importance of poetry in the history of the Faith and in its Writings, and absolute detachment as a prerequisite for attainment unto the Divine Presence. Includes translation of a Tablet by Bahá’u’lláh.
published in Lights of Irfan, 19, pages 233-268 Wilmette: Haj Mehdi Arjmand Colloquium, 2018
Abstract: This paper offers a provisional translation of a Persian Tablet revealed by Bahá’u’lláh in the Iraqi period [below]. The Tablet is rich in quotations from ancient Iranian poets. Our paper examines the importance of poetry in the history of the Faith and in its Writings. It analyzes the quoted poems and the many poetical metaphors used in the Tablet. It ends with a short commentary on the contents of the Tablet: absolute detachment is a fundamental prerequisite for attaining “unto the divine Presence.”
We have been especially impressed by this Tablet, not only because of its contents, that emphasizes absolute detachment as an indispensable prerequisite for the “attainment unto the Divine Presence” [KI 141, π149], but also because in the short space of two pages offers six quotations of verses by three different poets. And this has appeared to us as a sign of the importance that Bahá’u’lláh ascribed to poetry.