Imagining the Madness of Majnun

One of the many items in the soundtrack to my life is Eric Clapton’s epic ‘Layla’, famously about his agonising and impossible love for the then wife of his best friend, George Harrison. But it was many years ago that I discovered the other inspiration for this, the Persian poem ‘Layla and Majnun’, which I am told is a true story from about the 7th century.

A young man  fell in love with the beautiful young Layla, but when her father banned him from seeing her, he went mad, hence he became known as the madman, or Majnun. One version is that he sent her poems, but when these were intercepted by her father, he climbed to the top of a mountain and continued to write them, throwing them onto the wind.

Clapton clearly picked up on the first bit, the early Romeo and Juliet, but it is the other part, the idea of idea of writing for nobody, or everyone is the bit that intrigues me. Because it seems that is what we do when we blog. We have no idea if anyone will find our post, (though it seems you are reading this, whoever you are).

Why do we write for nobody? Or are we writing for an audience of ourselves? Are we just as big on dreaming as Majnun, hence just as crazy, or is there a real magic in reaching out to the ether, just in case someone out there can find these words.

6 thoughts on “Imagining the Madness of Majnun

  1. I love this. Maybe most of us are not crazy enough to throw our writing into the wind, but this wind of the internet is a new and, to me, fascinatingly void-like thing.
    Our inner Majnuns are coming out…but where are our Laylas? Maybe at heart we all know…


  2. I suppose crazed by love, the writing was the secondary part to him. It’s just the feeling of needing to communicate to the one he loves above all others. Just letting his desperation carry on the wind. Letting fate take his words and do with them what it will…


    • We’ve all been there. I also love a book The Mango Tree by Ronald McKie about a boy growing up, climbing a mango tree and dreaming and asking questions that the wind took away but gave no answers.


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