Saturday, June 17, 2006

Didn't I Say?


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal 1725, from the Diwan-e Shams, in versions
by Helminski and Star and in translations by Schimmel and Khalili:

Didn't I Say?

Didn't I say, "Don't go there; I am your friend.
In this mirage of existence, I am the fountain of life."
Even if your anger takes you a hundred thousand years away,
in the end you will return, for I am your goal.
Didn't I say, "Don't be content with earthly forms;
I am the designer of the intimate chamber of your contentment."
Didn't I say, "I am the sea, and you are a single fish;
don't strand yourself on dry land; I am your clear sea."
Didn't I say, "Don't get caught in the trap like a helpless bird;
I am the power of flight - your feet and your wings."
Didn't I say, "They will waylay you and make you cold;
I am the fire and your warm desire."
Didn't I say, "They will implant their qualities in you
until you forget that the best qualities are here."
Didn't I say, "You do not know from what direction
your affairs are put in order."
I am the Creator beyond directions.
If light is in your heart, find your way home.
If you are of God, know your Benefactor.

-- Version by Kabir Edmund Helminski
"Love is a Stranger"
Threshold Books, 1993


Did I not say to you, friend:
"Don't go, for I am your Friend?
I am the Water of Life
in the mirage of decay!
And if in anger you go
thousands of miles, far from me:
Finally you will return -
I am your goal and your end!"
Did I not say to you, friend:
"I am the sea, you're a fish.
Do not go to the dry land -
I am the Attributes' sea!"
Did I not say to you, friend:
"Don't fly like birds to the snare!
Come, I am strength for your flight,
and I am strength for your wings!"
Did I not say to you, friend:
"They'll block your road, make you cold!
But I am fire and heat,
warmth of your heart and your love!"
Did I not say to you, friend:
"Bad qualities, that's your share!
But you can lose them! I am
the fountain of qualities pure."
Did I not say to you, friend:
"Don't grieve: 'From which side my work
Will be arranged?' For I am
He who creates, without sides!"

-- Translation by Annemarie Schimmel
"Look! This Is Love"
Shambhala, 1996


Remember what I said . . .
I said, Don't leave, for I am your Friend.
In the mirage of this world
I am the fountain of life.
Even if you leave in anger
and stay away for a thousand years
You will return to me,
for I am your goal.

I said, Don't be content with worldly promises
for I am the tabernacle of your contentment.

I said, Do not go upon the dry land
for I am the Sea without a shore.

I said, O bird, do not fly into the hunter's net;
come toward me, for I am the power
that moves your wings
that lifts you through the sky.

I said, They'll capture you and put you on ice;
I am the fire and the warmth
of your true yearning.

I said, They will cover you with water and clay;
You will forget that I am your taintless beginning.

I said, No one can tell how my work will manifest
for I create the world from all sides.

Let your heart's light guide you to my house.
Let your heart's light show you that we are one.

-- Version by Jonathan Star
"Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved"
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997


haven't I told you
don't run away from me
you'll find me like a fountainhead
wherever you go in this mirage
even if you leave me
with anger for a hundred thousand years
you'll finally return
since i'm your final home
haven't i told you
don't be fooled with
the spangles in life
i'm your final fulfillment
haven't i told you
that i'm the sea and you're a small fish
you're better off staying with me
than venturing the dry shores
haven't i told you
don't go towards the trap
like a bird enticed by bait
come back to me i'm your endless strength
haven't i told you
others will kill your fire
stay with me who will set you
on flame and warm your soul
haven't i told you
others will disillusion you
you'll lose the fountainhead of
the solace i've found for you
if you're enlightened by
the lantern of your heart
guiding you to God's house
look at me i may be the path

-- Translation by Nader Khalili
"RUMI: Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1994

The Persian image:

The English image:

The Persian recitation:

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