Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Analysis of "An Empty Garlic"

I agree with the analysis we went through in class of the poem "An Empty Garlic", but I had another idea regarding its meaning that occurred to me. Maybe the poem is talking about promiscuity and how men should avoid women with those characteristics. Rumi writes that the tasteless fig turns out to be as empty as dry-rotten garlic. To me, this screams infertility. If a women is as empty as dry-rotten garlic, then she cannot have children and it is past her time to reproduce. One of the beliefs I gathered from Islam was that humans should not indulge in sex. Therefore, if this old, crone of a woman cannot have children anymore, then she should not be promiscuous with many men because that is not a good goal to have and a decent path to follow. On the other hand, the man this poem is referring to should not allow himself to fall victim to a woman like the poem is describing. So, I believe this poem talks to both sexes regarding sexual promiscuity.


Lindsay A said...

I feel like the poem talks more about temptations in general. That the man is being distracted by something (or someone) that he thinks he wants, but in actually the old woman is nothing more than a dry and tasteless fig. Rather than see the image of God (the beautiful woman or the garden) the man in the poem is distracted by desire-perhaps desire in a sexual nature or some other form of temptation.

Grant Reggio said...

Really it could go both ways in the poem regarding temptation, especially when one might use it to describe the message the poem attempts to get across. That we must avoid our worldly temptations and follow the temptations which our hearts and god lead us towards. At first I had thought these ideas conflicted one another, but a little thought proved a distinction between the two that might render temptation, the label used in class discussion to describe the message, a misnomer. I'd say the message is that our heart's temptations are not actually temptations, but simply what we truly enjoy in life. It may be the beauty that a person can't ignore when he may look at a painting, or the exhilaration one might feel when partaking in an extracurricular activity. I'd say these temptations are not worldly and are therefore not temptations. Perhaps a better substitution of 'passions' may more correctly describe the actual message, while the worldly temptations which distract us from our passions remain temptations.

Ben Bonner said...

I think, like most of Rumi's poetry, "An Empty Garlic" has a double meaning. On the one hand, I think it can be interpretted literally and applied to human relationships, in that one should always be concerned with progeny with regards to marriage. On the other hand, I think it can be interpretted metaphorically and applied to spiritual relationships/relationships with God. I think Rumi is admonishing the reader to beware of sin and to focus on what is pure.