Karim H. Karim’s beautiful poem is followed by a brief note from the editor as well as some pictures that he set off to take at Toronto’s Aga Khan Park, shortly after he had been inspired by the poem.
By KARIM H. KARIM
(Dedicated to all who are sad)
Sweetest are the songs
That we sing in sorrows;
Tears swell in our eyes
Even when joy overflows.
Naïve folk fear the thorns
Where flowers do flourish,
Fresh with hues of hope.
Dawn’s light is nearest
When sadness is darkest,
Sings the black night
In stars’ silent twinkle.
Embrace the aching pain,
Learn to laugh a little
And to comfort others.
Let storms beware
That we are lighting
The lamps of love.
Date posted: October 20, 2020.
Last updated: October 22, 2020.
(Based on Shankardas Shailendra’s (1923-1966) “Hain Sabse Madhur Wo Geet,” which evokes Percy Shelley’s (1792-1822) line “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of the saddest thought.”)
About the author: Karim H. Karim is the Director of the Carleton Centre for the Study of Islam and a Professor at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication.
Editor’s note: I was truly feeling sad earlier today (October 20), thinking about my daughter and my mother whom I haven’t visited for several months due to Covid-19. I was lonely, and also worried about my health in these uncertain times! My friend Karim H. Karim who is nearly 450 kms from me must have sensed that. I was waiting for another article from him altogether, not a piece dedicated for those who are sad. In my reply to his humble submission, I told him I would review it in a few days time! However, I decided to read it straight away, and his piece truly cheered me up. And in that moment of becoming a lot less sad, I gained some energy and headed to my favourite place! Yes, the Aga Khan Park, with two incredible buildings, the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum around it — gracious gifts from Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan.
Admittedly, I haven’t been to the Park for a number of weeks, passing by it only in my car. The photographs that I took during my visit to the Park, represent my joyous moments, that I owe to Karim’s beautiful rendition. As I walked to the park, I was reminded of Mawlana Hazar Imam’s quote where he says that if one has faith, one may be worried, one may at times feel sad but one will never be unhappy. How true! Enjoy the photos, which were inspired by the poem.
Note: The following photos — and more — can be viewed in larger format at Simerg’s special photo blog. Please click Bidding Farewell to Vibrant Autumn Colours at Aga Khan Park. If you haven’t visited the blog please click Simergphotos for an outstanding collection of photo essays!
Date posted: October 20, 2020.
Last updated: October 21, 2020 (new link).
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This is a second comment I feel the need to leave because I felt the need to look up both this poem and the beautiful Autumn pictures that you have so skillfully captured. Navroz has just passed and the spring blossoms are opening in Vancouver and it is absolutely breathtaking…I don’t mean to compare because you can’t…but Fall has always been my favorite Season because of all of the colors Allah uses on his palette!!!! Each leaf unique with veins running through it like life…mashallah.
So thank you once again for these pictures, and the poem is so powerful and redeeming. A true joy to read again…Much like the Spring poem by Rumi that you took a picture of in the articles on Navroz at the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Museum…BEAUTIFUL!!!! It gives me hope and restored faith in our power to overcome. Very well composed!!
What a beautiful poem, full of depth and meaning…great job! And the pictures are absolutely wonderful…It takes a very experienced photographer to know when to click! Such patience and skills!!!
Thank you Abdulmalik for sharing these amazing autumn colors and beautiful poem and the museum/park pictures. It gave me a spark and lifted me in the moment. I admire your knowledge and ability to bring forth inspiring clips to keep us happy and not give up. Very proud of your enthusiasm to keep people like me motivated and fulfill my purpose of seva to mom during this pandemic. May Mawlana Hazar Imam Bless you.
Great poem,and great photography; asante. COVID fatigue is getting to us all, and bringing us all down.
Just remember “this too shall pass ” — better days are yet to come.
Karim’s poem is beautifully written and touching. You can feel the sadness.
All I can say about “Sadness is ..have “Sabar”
HOPE & FAITH.
There is light at the end of the Tunnel.
And “WOW” to the amazing pictures of the two special buildings — the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre — and the beautiful Aga Khan Park with excellent fall colors in the background.