Poetry collection by Fiori D’Asia Publisher
Review by Maria Teresa De Donato
A sensitive soul and a remarkable depth of thought emerge from this work by the Tibetan Author Samar Darkpa.
The numerous quotes relating to Nature, its symbols, and the consequent perfect osmosis with Man characterize his verses, bringing us back, in certain aspects, to the literary production of some decadent poets.
However, while the poems of some members of Decadentism aimed at achieving a purely aesthetic perfection, the goal of Samar’s poetry, when it comes to this process of interpenetration between Man and Nature, is to encourage reflection, introspective analysis, inner research, the comprehension of the metaphors of Life, visible through every experience we live and everything, event, and person we come across:
like a particle,
I closed my eyes and…
I have seen the mysteries of the world.
I have transcended.
Promise to bring me back to Life,
so immortal I will forever be.” (Darkpa, 2023, pp. 25, 26)
The understanding, therefore, not only of the Self but also of the Whole is, in fact, the ultimate goal of his work:
“Even lighting a Ghee lamp can lead to understanding the world through prayer. Its light can lead to wisdom and longevity. Butter represents our tradition, civilization, and Tibetan customs.” (pp. 18, 19)
His language, while highly poetic in its purest and most genuine form, is devoid of those aesthetic elements so dear to some of our decadent poets.
In their essence, Samar’s verses instead remind us of those of the great hermetic poet Salvatore Quasimodo when he wrote,
“Everyone is alone on the heart of the earth
pierced by a ray of sunshine:
and suddenly, it’s evening.”
However, although a sense of drama and disillusionment towards Life emerges from Quasimodo’s work, in that of Samar, on the contrary, the determining element is given by the awareness and serene acceptance of the reality the Author comes to through observation and, above all, his spiritual path.
Samar spent, in fact, fifteen years as a Buddhist monk, dedicating his time to prayer, meditation, recitation of sutras, the study of grammar and literature, as well as the transcription of the Holy Scriptures.
His monastic Life and immersion in the study of various religious disciplines and activities, while allowing him to increase awareness, knowledge, and distance himself from material Life and attachment to things, also profoundly impacted the sphere linked to feelings and love.
Love, the sentimental and erotic one, is apparently submerged by his faith and his perception that ‘detachment from the things of the world’ necessarily means not allowing oneself to be imprisoned by Love and Passion. “You are already complete in yourself. You don’t need someone else to reach your totality.”: this, in its essence, is his implicit message.
Although Samar will also have this ‘carnal’ experience and find himself in love with the girl in question, the Author will leave her the following day after spending the night with her. He will have to do so. His faith considers a woman who made a man abandon monastic Life a rakshasa, or “a demon who feeds on human flesh.” (Darkpa, 2023, p. 53)
This abandonment, however, will leave a deep emotional wound in him from which he will have difficulty recovering.
On the contrary, unconditional love linked above all to his childhood memories will, in fact, remain intact and treasured in his heart:
“When I think back to my hometown, to myself as a child, and those days surrounded by warmth and tenderness, I realize I feel nostalgic. I miss everything about my childhood… . Now, I always turn on a lamp in the dark, as if in its reflection, I could still see my childhood living the times gone by. It’s like a star that flashes in my memory and, giving off heat, allows my heart to expand.” (p. 19)
in her chest, there is a steppe,
two snow-covered mountains,
a world of peace and quiet.
It’s so big:
in her embrace, there it is,
the miracle of reincarnation.” (p. 23)
“Let me disappear here,
in childhood memories.
They will be enough for me for eternal Life.” (p. 29)
The swing between Heaven and Earth and between Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, i.e., the five elements that represent the pillars of Chinese thought, as well as the references to specific foods of its land – including Tsampa (a Tibetan cereal similar to our broth cube) and Ghee or yak butter which is obtained from milk – are also a determining factor in this poet’s verses:
“I dive into the embrace of Mother Earth:
In the dream, my lineage was reflected
in yak butter flowers.” (p. 29)
Creation, through all its components, whether spiritual or material, speaks to us and communicates its most profound and intrinsic truths: Everything is connected, in continuous movement and is incessantly transformed in a perennial cycle of rebirths.
We watch Everything unfold before our eyes, and the only thing we can do is to observe, appreciate, try to understand, and feel as being an integral part of this process:
“A ray of light in the darkness
will accompany me,
until the day I will be reborn.
My soul is a stone in nature,
traveling for millennia.” (p. 31)
The various phases of Life, which in the case of Samar Darkpa, in this poetic collection of his, are represented by his having been a
• Shepherd Monk,
• Young Nomad,
• Poet and
they all define the process of growth and transformation of the Author himself, highlighting, for each stage, the salient psychological, emotional, mental, and behavioral characteristics.
Chance does not exist, and Samar’s destiny seems to have already been outlined even before his birth. “I was born and raised in the village of Samar, in the county of Zhuoni, in the Gannan region…’ – he states, in fact, ‘as a child my name was Tingzen Kyab, which means ‘Predisposed to good.'” (p. 12)
Being ‘predisposed to good’ makes him ‘fall in love with the spiritual path’ with which he gives ‘a new start to his life’ (pp. 33, 34), leading him to leave his village and become the only ‘monk to pasture.’
His love for the nomadic Life is misunderstood and attributed to restlessness. On the contrary, as he stated, it arose from his suffering in remaining in the village after his father’s death. (p. 37)
His spiritual path and Buddhist faith shape him and give birth to a new life:
“Labrang is one of the six largest monasteries of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. … It is located at the crossroads between two important Asian cultures: Tibetan and Mongolian. … Its atmosphere is solemn… . After leaving this school, one is no longer a simple monk. … Buddhism has given me so much: wisdom, a sense of completeness, an eye always turned to prayer and the good of humanity, the renunciation of one’s own interests, the firm opposition to war. Now, as an ordinary man, what I can do is continue to pray for peace and control impulses such as envy and resentment.” (pp. 39, 40)
I will be reborn in Tibet is not, therefore, only the poetic collection of the union between Man and Nature, of childhood memories and unconditional love, but also and above all, a hymn to Knowledge of the Self even before others, of Awareness, Respect, Tolerance, and Acceptance of our diversity.
It is a publication intended to promote peace and balance within ourselves and then extend it to the World.
“After my experience in the monastery in Labrang, I moved to the Boys’ Welfare School in the city of Lajia… There, I learned respect for others and understood that only literature could free me from ignorance and vulgarity. Studying it was an arduous path that would elevate me, so I had to commit seriously to it.” (p. 51)
Well, yes, Literature, as well as Art and Culture in general, Meditation, and Spirituality can elevate us, make us grow, open not only our minds but also, and above all, our hearts and our horizons, and make us understand what it means to be indeed at peace with ourselves. Only then, once we are ‘centered’ and have achieved such inner peace, will we finally be able to contribute to World Peace.
Thank you, Samar Darkpa, for your teachings and, above all, for this message of hope. We really need it, now more than ever.
I will be reborn in Tibet is, therefore, a collection of verses integrated with some biographical notes, written in a simple, spiritual, and, at the same time, earthly poetic language, a sort of ‘pastoral ode’ that will captivate the soul of the reader, inducing him/her to a deep reflection and subsequent review about the priorities in his/her life and what is truly worth living for.
It is a reading that I highly recommend to everyone.