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  • Writer's pictureCile

Episode One Hundred Ten, I Hope You Don't Sue This Old Man

From Wikipedia: Syrinx was a beautiful wood nymph who had many times attracted the attention of satyrs, and fled their advances in turn. She worshiped Artemis, the goddess of wilderness, and had like her vowed to remain a virgin for all time. Pursued by the amorous god Pan, she ran to a river's edge and asked for assistance from the river nymphs. In answer, she was transformed into hollow water reeds that made a haunting sound when the god's frustrated breath blew across them. Pan cut the reeds to fashion the first set of panpipes, which were thenceforth known as syrinx.[1] The word syringe was derived from this word.

Hafiz' poem, this story, and the threat of litigation reminds me of my relationship to music. In the poem, Hafiz seems to lament his desires with his slipping and interfering with innocence because he is so enamored with the mystery of his own desires. He allows himself to be carried until he slips and falls into his own design. His adventure dissolves into a hollow victory of a poem or a song.

...Your beauty, dear pilgrim, startles me,

Causes my foot to slip....

Pan, in the story of Syrinx is swept up, too, and in his defeat he is inspired to design a flute from the reeds that he busted up on the river bank in his frustration. He realized that they made a lovely sound to his ear as the wind blew through them. The sound reminded him of his lost love. He put his wounded love into making and playing the Pan flute which he carried with him always and became known for. It was all he could have of his beloved Syrinx.

I do this with music. I let it carry me away and it brings me such joy that I think it illegal and I'll be identified as a culprit for enhancing my life with something I never had a hand in creating myself. I piece my life together using music and art as found objects.

Thank you for listening.

Music: James Last Orchestra and Gheorghe Zamfir plays "Einsamer Hirte" (The Lone Shepherd). Here the infamous Pan flute player known professionally as Zamfir is playing the Royal Albert Hall and he's savoring each note of this obviously treasured experience.

Artwork Pan And Syrinx By Jean François De Troy

The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz (including an addendum regarding the authenticity of these poems) can be found here.

The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.


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