Book of the How

BOOK OF THE HOW

The Book of the How is a collection of five poems that serve as an anguished response to the destruction of the city of the light. After a long siege by the invading evil army. Although the poems are traditionally ascribed to the prophet, this is unlikely in its current form. The text of the book does not mention the prophet at all, and it is difficult to square some of the content of the poetry with what one finds in his own writings. While there are connections in theme and vocabulary among all four chapters, the poems may have been composed separately and grouped together later. In any case, they are anonymous compositions probably used by survivors of the catastrophe in a communal expression of grief and mourning. Because of the bleakness of the work, it is not talked about very much.

As a literary work, the Book of the How combines elements of communal and individual laments, funeral dirges, and ancient city-laments. The poems portray an individual who is laced in unimaginable grief.

 

1

  1. How solitary I sit now, once filled with happiness.
  2. I am a shadow of my former self.
  3. You weep at night and I weep at night, our faces filled with tears.
  4. I will no longer comfort you.
  5. We have now been separated by higher powers.
  6. We have been overtaken and separated.
  7. We all mourn because we are now desolate.
  8. The enemies have gone in triumph.
  9. You have gone away from me in full glory.
  10. I remember the happy memories, the days that have once come and are now gone.
  11. I have mocked you and demeaned you.
  12. I used to honor you, but now I hate you.
  13. I am miserable because the enemy has triumphed.
  14. The enemy has gone forth and taken you away from me.
  15. You were once my treasure, but now you are gone.
  16. Pay attention to me and how I have been wrongly oppressed.
  17. They have struck me down and now I am left without anyone.
  18. I have tried to rebel, but now I have failed.
  19. I am not a valiant warrior, but I will succeed some other way.
  20. For I have wept greatly, my eyes are hurting.
  21. Nobody is here to comfort me.
  22. I have disobeyed your command, for I am trying to fight.
  23. I have reached out, but I was cast away.
  24. Look at how I suffer; look at how bitter I am!
  25. I am in misery and pain and you show no remorse to me.
  26. Although you have dealt with my rebellion, evil will still come to you.
  27. Justice shall be mine.

 

  1. Oh how you have been suppressed by your forefathers.
  2. I am full of pity, but nobody will show mercy towards me.
  3. I have no support and you have all the support of the world.
  4. You have killed all that is precious to me.
  5. You have become the enemy, and I mourn the loss of the best thing I have ever had.
  6. You have laid my life to waste.
  7. You have soured my life.
  8. You have handed yourself to the enemy because you do not want to deal with me.
  9. My enemies have not shown me any mercy.
  10. You destroyed me, but you did not take me out.
  11. Your elders stood by as they destroyed me without remorse.
  12. I am hurt, but I am not shown any forgiveness and I will never forgive.
  13. I cry out to you, but you do not even know I exist.
  14. I cannot be compared because I have been so unique to you.
  15. You are now living in an illusion.
  16. Open your eyes to me again as I make you who you are destined to be.
  17. Your destiny shall be fulfilled in me.
  18. Your tears shall come as I say my story to you all.
  19. Wail out to those who have hurt me and you shall look at what I have become.
  20. You know you and your elders have been so ruthless to me.
  21. You shall lie down and bow to my power someday.
  22. You have summoned me, but I have summoned you to the new covenant.

2

  1. I am the one that has been afflicted.
  2. I walked in the darkness and not in the light.
  3. You turn against me alone.
  4. You have bent and broken my mind and heart.
  5. You have afflicted me with hardship and poverty.
  6. You have left me for dead in the darkness.
  7. You cage me in without escape.
  8. I cry for help, but you do not hear me.
  9. You made my path crooked.
  10. You are lying in wait for me.
  11. You will tear me apart from the inside out.
  12. You set me like a target for your attacks.
  13. You hurt and taunted me and encouraged others to go against me.
  14. You are a bitter person.
  15. You make me eat your dust.
  16. I do not know happiness because you deprive me of peace.
  17. My hope has perished.
  18. The thought of my suffering goes through my mind over and over again.
  19. But I have some hope.
  20. My own will is not broken by you.
  21. Every day is a new day.
  22. I shall take every new day on with a new attitude.
  23. I will seek wisdom and knowledge until the end of time.
  24. I shall be delivered.
  25. It is good for someone to bear their burdens and to sit with silence and awe at the world.
  26. You may fall, but you will get back up.
  27. You will not be struck and not get back up.
  28. You will not be rejected forever.
  29. You will gain mercy and forgiveness.
  30. You will not be guilted into something you do not want to do.
  31. You will not be denied justice.
  32. The creator controls all the laws of nature and the universe.
  33. The living should not complain, for they are not perfect.
  34. Let us search our ways and come to greater wisdom.
  35. You shall look up to the heavens.
  36. You have rebelled and you will not be forgiven by man.
  37. You will not be filled with wrath and you will not pursue us.
  38. You are wrapped in a shroud by which nothing will pass through.
  39. They will go against us and we shall prevail.
  40. I shall cry over the destruction of those people.
  41. I will not rest until I am in the light.
  42. You shall not be tormented by the darkness and you must go into the light.
  43. Your enemies will try to get at you again.
  44. They tried to destroy me, but I shall prevail.
  45. I thought I was lost, but now I am found again.
  46. I have called you and you will work in my favor.
  47. Destiny shall see that I will survive.
  48. My will cannot bring me to my own death.
  49. The creator is the force of the universe.
  50. They will plot against me, but they will fail.
  51. They talk of harming me, but harm will come to them in the end.
  52. They will taunt me, but I will not suffer.
  53. Give them what they deserve according to their deeds.
  54. May the curse of karma be on those who seek to hurt me.
  55. They shall be destroyed under the wrath of karma forever.

3

  1. How the gold of my life has been changed and how my life has been scattered to the corners of my own existence.
  2. And my life is not worth its weight in gold and now I now treat it like clay and the work of any man.
  3. Even the animals offer their lives to help their young; but I am in the cruel state and I am lost in the wilderness.
  4. I am begging for life, but no one gives me the peace that I need.
  5. I have feasted on scraps and I am abandoned in the street; and now I embrace the waste of the world.
  6. My punishment is surpassed the penalties of those who are sent to death and I was overthrown without any violence towards me.
  7. The new princes are brighter than I and whiter than I and their beauty surpasses my own.
  8. Now, to me their appearance is blacker than night and day passed by me because they are now unfamiliar to me and do not remember my name.
  9. Better are those pierced by weaponry and by hunger and those who bleed from their wounds, then I too have suffered greatly.
  10. The hands of the women who are compassionate towards me have now been boiled away and my heart was shattered.
  11. The anger has been exhausted the wrath has been blazed forth in a fire has been kindled and has consumed the foundations of my life.
  12. They said I did not believe, nor did anyone else believe that my enemies could enter my heart and go through the gates.
  13. The blood of the just has been poured except for those who deserve it the most.
  14. They staggered blindly in the streets so that none could touch them through blood revenge.
  15. They say that I was unclean and that I should go away and go far away and wandered so that I would not be welcomed anywhere.
  16. They creator no longer looks to them because they show the truth no regard and no mercy.
  17. Even now my eyes are worn and I searched in vain for help, but I was unable to save myself and I fell.
  18. I could not walk in the steps of those who claim to be more righteous than I ,for I knew and thought that my end was near and the end that was indeed more than I could imagine.
  19. They were swifter than I and they were hot on my trail and they ambushed me in the wilderness.
  20. The breath of life was kinder snares in the shaded mean to live among the masses.
  21. They will rejoice in droves for the couple is passed over me and they will fall into their own temptations.
  22. Their punishments will come and I will enjoy the last.

4

  1. Remember what happens to me, pay attention and look at the disgrace I went through.
  2. My life was always ruled by stranger.
  3. I became orphaned in my own soul in my own body.
  4. Everything I went through came at a price.
  5. I was driven away and not allowed to rest in the endless search of my own soul.
  6. I extended my reach out to those who may help me.
  7. I now bear the guilt of my own past.
  8. I was ruled over by those lesser than me and no one to bring me back up.
  9. I risked my life and I expose my thoughts to those I never thought before.
  10. Things around me heated up and it made me hunger for the truth.
  11. I felt as if my spirit was violated.
  12. I was shown no respect by anyone.
  13. I staggered under the loads of wood that I have beared.
  14. All people have abandoned me at the gates and I went out into the wilderness on my own.
  15. My joy cease and my joy turned into mourning.
  16. My head is now without a crown because I feel that I have sinned.
  17. My heart grew sick and my eyes grew dim.
  18. I was desolate as if I was in the desert.
  19. The throne of my life has stood from beach to beach.
  20. I forgot in my own soul and I was forsaken for so long.
  21. I long to return to the days of old.
  22. But they have rejected me and they turned their wrath against me.
  23. I guess there is no direction for me to go but forward.