Love and Poetry | Marjaan Sadiq | The Arts-Muse Fair



Photo: Aminu S Muhammad
You knew you're truly in love the day you wrote your first stanza. You've heard that people write nice poetry when they feel immense love, or sadness, or even happiness. Never hatred. Poetry should not be inspired by hatred: it is too beautiful. You wonder how something so "beautiful" can be inspired by sadness. You ask around, but you do not get a gratifying response. You draw the conclusion that pain has an inherent beauty. After all, without sadness, happiness cannot fully be appreciated.

You think about Rumi, the famous poet of the thirteenth century, who was an Islamic scholar until Shams of Tabriz entered his life without warning, and exited it just as abruptly, turning Mawlana Rumi into a sad poet. You wonder if the stories that have transcended centuries are true, if Rumi and Shams did not have a romantic relationship, and you chide yourself for entertaining such lowly thoughts. You think about Layla and Qays: how Qays ran mad over Layla and was nicknamed "Majnun (The Mad Man)". You think about Shirin and Farhad, about Romeo and Juliet, and all other tragic love stories. About people who'd killed themselves for love lost, and about love drastically turning people into what they themselves couldn't recognize.

You become scared of this love. This love that makes you spin poetic verses. This love that makes your heart swell with an alien, bubbly feeling. Surely it cannot be healthy. Surely the historical figures playing around your head, reminding you of the impending doom this love will bring, are a warning; a bad omen. You do not want to end up dead like Romeo, or be permanently scarred like Rumi. You're apprehensive especially, because your name is Robin.

You fail to remember that "love" in itself is beautiful enough to inspire poetry, that for your muse, sadness is not required. You fail to think that though these historical stories portrayed a defective kind of love, the characters didn't lose; they won this love. This love made their stories worth telling. This love moulded them. This love, gave them hearts. You forget that love is brave, resilient. You let your fear dictate your terms. You fail.


Marjaan Sadiq is a journalist and writer. She lives and work in Kano, Nigeria. She loves to read. She writes lots of fiction.