Ancient Poems

Published: 21st June 2010
Views: N/A

Ancient poetry has always been meaningful to me. The perspective from which the ancients saw the world and expressed that fascination through poetry is so different from the way people view the world today. In today's world, of technology and science, every corner of our world is being explored and explained. There is hardly any mystery left in the wide world, hardly any unexplored places for people to wonder about and imagine. But to ancient man, the world was still a vastly unknown and undiscovered place. That's what I love about ancient poetry. That fascination and perspective is expressed through their poetry in a way that cannot be expressed the same way today. Plus, ancient poetry is extra special simply because it is ancient. You're reading something many hundreds, even thousands of years old, that still have the capacity to stir your heart. That's pretty amazing if you ask me! I've tried to take samples of ancient writings and poems from all over. Some come from ancient China, some from ancient Persia, and some from ancient Israel. I hope you'll find the same love that I did.

This first excerpt is a simple piece of advice:

"When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you." Tao Te Ching

This next excerpt is a nice pairing of bits of wisdom. It's really cool:

"Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity." Tao Te Ching

This is my favorite ancient poem. It's an ancient love poem from Persia:

"The intellectual is always showing off, the lover is always getting lost. The intellectual runs away. afraid of drowning; the whole business of love is to drown in the sea. Intellectuals plan their repose; lovers are ashamed to rest. The lover is always alone. even surrounded by people; like water and oil, he remains apart. The man who goes to the trouble of giving advice to a lover gets nothing. He's mocked by passion. Love is like musk. It attracts attention. Love is a tree, and the lovers are its shade." Rumi - The Intellectual is Always Showing Off

This is a list of ancient questions from China. Very poignant:

"Can you coax your mind from its wandering and keep to the original oneness?... Can you love people and lead them without imposing your will?" Tao Te Ching

Another love poem from ancient Persia. Very excellent:

"I am a sculptor, a molder of form. In every moment I shape an idol. But then, in front of you, I melt them down I can rouse a hundred forms and fill them with spirit, but when I look into your face, I want to throw them in the fire. My souls spills into yours and is blended. Because my soul has absorbed your fragrance, I cherish it. Every drop of blood I spill informs the earth, I merge with my Beloved when I participate in love. In this house of mud and water, my heart has fallen to ruins. Enter this house, my Love, or let me leave." Rumi - I am a sculptor a molder of form

A description of love from the Bible, the Old Testament, in the book Song of Solomon:

"For love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned." Song Of Solomon Chapter 8

A description of the human condition from the Tao Te Ching:

"He who stands on tiptoe doesn't stand firm. He who rushes ahead doesn't go far. He who tries to shine dims his own light. He who defines himself can't know who he really is. He who has power over others can't empower himself. He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures." Tao Te Ching

One of the most beautiful ancient poems from the Bible, describing the state of all life:

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." Ecclesiastes Chapter 3


Thanks for reading my article about ancient poetry. For more in poetry and the like, check out my other articles.

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore