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Just One, Unoffical, Representative Of The Bf


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I write this autobiography, these short and self-contained units called poems, as a self-appointed, unoffical, representative of the Baha'i community, to embody in this record of my time and my deeds on this earth my vision of the nature and aspirations of this emerging world religion, its grand design and promise. I also want to embody the odors, shapes, colours, sounds and the feel of things with as great a precision as I am able from the turbulent stream of my experience and that of my community.


But I am only one representative. There are thousands, millions, who could be more adequate representatives of this community than I. This is the record of my struggle and others, a community. This is simply part of a great epic, the special shapes and tensions of the epic that is Baha'i history. This epic fixes our imagination on the whole, society, the external as well as on the individual human being. Here in my autobiographical poetry is a hunger to define the essence of a way of life and comprehend its history in all its grand complexity and simplicity. -Ron Price with thanks to C. Hugh Holman, The Loneliness at the Core, Louisiana State UP, NY, 1975, pp. 164-167.


There is a shaping power here:


to help me define that ordered

cosmos out of a seemingly teeming

and fecund chaos where my imagination

voyages, touching clarity in its quest and

lending glory to my dry and troubled dust.


to help me bring all this meaning

in my experience, all this hunger,

literal, this discovery, coming from

a sense of loss now, a sense of ransom,

freeing a precious jewel-gem, honey

nectar from history's prison cell.


to help my obsessive intensity,

my gargantuan effort to encompass

an exhaustion of faith1, an immense

chasm in society, the permeation

of this new Revelation and an

intensified search for understanding.


to help me wreak out my vision

of this new way, this new world,

this Baha'i community, to the best

of my ability, with an unswerving

devotion, integrity and purity of

purpose that shall not be menaced,

altered or weakened by anyone.


Ron Price

4 October 1998


1 Baha'i International Community, Baha'u'llah, NY, 1991, p.15.

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