01 April 2006

Holy Haikus or Satanic Verses?

11th Century North African Qur’an in the Briti...Image via WikipediaSoundRoots is obviously all for creative cultural expression -- we celebrate those every week. But we admit that things can be taken too far. Take, for example, the new project of a team of poets (presumably under-employed) from The Olympia Poetry Network. OPN, normally a mild-mannered group that sponsors local readings and poetry contests, has taken on the imposing task of, well, re-writing the sacred texts of the world's great faith traditions...in verse.

A member of the group admits that many great scriptures were originally written in poetic forms. It's just, OPN says, that the original authors could have used a more engaging form of poetry. Like, for example, the limerick.

Yes, it's true. While their works are not yet published, they leaked a preview of one of the projects, the Limerick Bible.

Said God to the Man, were I Thee
I should not eat the Fruit of yon Tree
But the Snake and the Wife
Saw no Reason for Strife
So they baked a Fruit Pie fit for Three.

Not satisfied with a single faith tradition, however, other OPN members are reportedly working on other projects, including rewriting the Sikh Guru Granth Sahim as sonnets, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as calypsos, the writings of Baha'u'llah in distich, the Qu'ran (Koran) in iambic pentameter, and the Book of Mormon as rondel. I don't understand all the poetic terms, but I'm sure it will all make for spicy reading.

OPN was willing to leak one more preview, this from the Haiku Bhagavad Gita:

Rain-soaked, town beseeched Krishna
Who came, hill in hand.
Dried, the town cheered, hung laundry.

OPN wouldn't say any more, except that they are consulting with members of various faith traditions to keep the true sense of the original texts. Perhaps our cultural concerns are misplaced and OPN will be turning new readers onto a deeper understanding of their own and others' spirituality.

No word on the expected publication dates, but keep an eye on OPN's website.
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