عنوان مقاله [English]
The underlying purpose of this article is to compare and contrast the rise and development of mystical poetry in England and Iran to find the common grounds by focusing briefly on the chief poets of the two cultures. Mysticism both in Persian and English literature laid stress on love for God along with piety and purity seeking to gain Oneness with Him. The Devine is the idyllic manifestation attained by direct or indirect experiences. Therefore, a mystic refers to a person who, in one way or another, establishes a heavenly relationship with the Divinity through purgation and self-consciousness to attain union with God.
A best place for the manifestation of mysticism is poetry. Although the rise of mystical poetry in Iran and England does not happen concurrently, in the present paper we have tried to explore the common grounds for the rise of mystical poetry in order to analyze and appreciate them.
The present study attempts to explore the common grounds for the rise and development of mystical poetry in Iran and England focusing on the major poets. To achieve this, the present research employs a descriptive- library method to introduce these poets to show how their poetry rooted in mysticism, love for God, attempts to attain unity with the source of existence or the Oneness.
Mystical poetry in Iran began gradually from the eighth century. With the rise of Sufi thoughts from the tenth century on this type of poetry with Sana’i brilliant odes mixed with wisdom and insightful lyrics paved the way for Attar of Nishapur’s didactic and simple masnavi (rhymed couplet). Sana'i Ghaznavi (1080 – 1141), had a tremendous influence upon Persian literature. He is considered to be the first poet to use the qasidah (ode), ghazal (lyric), and the masnavi to express the philosophical, mystical and ethical ideas of Sufism. Sana’i is followed by Attar of Nishapur (1145-1220) of whose greatness as a mystic, a poet, and a master of narrative, of whom Rumi has mentioned: "Attar was the spirit, Sana’i his eyes twain / And in time thereafter, came we in their train.” Rumi with his mystical discourse mixed with didactic allegories and mystified rhetoric takes the mystical poetry to its pinnacles. Jaláluddin Moláná Rumi was a Persian poet-philosopher, the greatest Persian mystical poet who was a major exponent of Sufi teachings as well as a profound philosopher. After eight hundred years, people from throughout the world still read Rumi, and the year 2007, the eight hundredth anniversary of his birthday was declared “Rumi Year” by UNESCO to signify the importance of his call to all humans for unity and ignoring the differences – speaking of himself, he states: “I am neither of the west, nor of the east; nor of the land, nor of the sea; … for I belong to the soul of the Beloved” who is eternal. The mystical poetry gets to its peak by Hafiz (1315-90) who celebrated the joys of love and wine but also targeted religious hypocrisy. He primarily wrote in the literary genre of lyrics or ghazals, the ideal style for expressing the ecstasy of divine inspiration. In his ghazals he deals with love, beloved, wine and taverns, all presenting ecstasy and freedom from restraint, speaking in the voice of the lover speaking of divine love. Hafiz’s influence on Persian speakers appears in divination by his poems acting somewhat similar to the Roman tradition of sortes vergilianae.
In England mysticism is associated with Richard Rolle (1300-1349) who has been called the father of English mysticism devoting himself to a contemplative life feeling heat in his chest and hearing heavenly music. Moving to the Renaissance, the dominant feature of metaphysical poets was intellectuality combined with passion. John Donne (1572-1631), dean of Saint Paul’s, achieved great success as a preacher of sermons, and, like Rumi’s audience, people tried not to miss his sermons. Apart from its fondness for conceits, “strong-lined” along with “concentration” and a “sinewy” style marked the main features of Donne’s poetry in which love was the major theme. This love starts from love of women leading to the love of God. Moving to the Romantic Movement, with regard to love and beauty, the three great English poets who were fundamentally mystical in thought are Blake (1757-1827), Wordsworth (1770-1850) and in the Victorian Period, Robert Browning (1812-1889). Blake lived in a world of glory, of spirit and of vision which was the only real world for him. Imagination for Blake was the one great reality with Art whose language speaks through symbols. Wordsworth gained his revelation of divinity through Nature with a single theme of the mystical interpretation of nature. It was not the beauty of Nature which brought him joy and peace but the very life in Nature. He believed that every flower enjoys the air it breathes. The sense of ‘Oneness’ was very strong with Coleridge. He was conscious of the symbolic quality of all things visibly surrounding us. For Browning, mysticism was the reconciliation of opposites, yet he took it for granted that the object of life is to know God and in knowing love we come to know God, hence love is a shelter from the world ‘where ignorant armies clash by night.’
Mystical poetry in Iran and England, though not coincided, share common grounds in search for truth, knowledge and closeness to God through mediation and prayer stressing on love and passion. The outcome of this comparative study showed that the knowledge of God and willing to unite with the Oneness is present in the poetry of the literature of both cultures. Self-knowledge for obtaining perfection under the favours of God’s compassion and mercy, through direct contemplation and self-surrender, along with having direct relation with God through His omnipresence and man’s contemplation over the Nature and the whole creation lead the life up to union with the One. This awareness is at the core of the themes of the poetry of these poets. Furthermore, it reveals that the Iranian mystical poetry compared with that of England enjoys genuineness and superiority. R. W. Emerson (1803-82), an American essayist and philosopher, believes that Asian spirituality and mysticism are richer than that of the west. R. A. Nicolson (1868-1945), English orientalist, scholar of both Islamic literature and Islamic mysticism, has praised Rumi as the greatest and most eminent poet and mystic of all the periods. Hegel praised him as one of the greatest poets and most important thinkers in world history. The common ground between these two cultures is that the mystic poet is the interpreter of celestial mysteries of existence and their eloquent discourse can easily shed light on these divine mysteries and mysticism is the idyllic interpretation of Existence.