Friday, August 11, 2006

"Oh heart, be patient"

Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal 2641, in a version by Kabir
Helminski, and in translations by A.J. Arberry:

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

"The Ninth Month"

You watch the sensuous movements of the veil.
Do you know there's a Chinese girl behind it
whose face you can't see?

You see a reflection of the real moon
in all the stones that lie at your feet.

You're a leaf scattered by an invisible wind.
Don't you know something's moving you?

Unless some thought stirs that wind, you don't stir.
If the wind isn't still, you're not.

Constellations, planets, your inmost states
are like camels in a row. You're the last.

Curl up and drink in the blood
like a child in heaven's womb.

You feel a pain in the sphere of your heart,
but when you lift your head it's gone.

Your ninth month is Shams' face,
you, who have been trusted with the secret of both worlds.

O heart, be patient in this blood
until the ninth month.

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

*(Incorrectly cited by Helminski as Ode 337.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I grant that you do not see the face of the Chinese girl; do
you not see the moving of this veil proceeds from her moving?
Through the luster of that moon which is hidden in the skies,
you have seen a hundred moons in earthly particles.
O leaf, scattered in the contrary wind, if you do not see the
wind, do you not see that you are so?
If the wind is not stirred by thought, you do not stir; and
if that wind does not sit still, you do not sit still.
The empyrean, heaven and spirit in this revolution of states
are camels in file, and you are the hindermost.
Move upon yourself and drink of this blood, for in the womb
of heaven you are a fetus-child.
In the sphere of your heart suddenly a pain arises; if you
raise your head from the sphere, you know that you are not this.
Your ninth month is the face of Shams-al-Haqq Tabriz, O you
who are the trustee of the trust of both worlds.
O heart, be patient in this blood until the ninth month; you
are that month [moon], O king, for you are Shams-al-Haqq va Din.

-- Translation by A.J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 2"
The University of Chicago Press, 1991

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