Friday, September 29, 2006

A Bird Without Wings

Here, Sunlight offers a version of Ghazal 721, from Jonathan
Star. A note regarding this version follows the poem.

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

"A Lover Without a Tear"

One who does not have the Beloved
is like a person without a head.
One who flees the cage of love
is like a bird without wings.

What news could one have of the world
That the Keeper of Secrets does not have?

One who is pierced by the arrows of this glance
is like a warrior without a shield.

One who cannot look within himself
is like a man without valor.
One who can't open the door of his own heart
is like a lover without a tear.

He has placed a door
In the middle of this path.
Only He who has placed it
can open it.

They say, "Wake up, the dawn has come!"
But in our sky who sleeps?
Who gets up at dawn?
Our sky
is without a sunrise
and without a sunset.

You've only been here a few days
and you've become so friendly with life.
I can't even talk about death anymore.

You're on the journey home
And your donkey has fallen asleep
in the middle of the road!

-- Ghazal (Ode) 721
Version by Jonathan Star
"Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved "
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997

Sunlight note: Once again, a conversation has been taking place, in
which the accuracy and validity of versions is being questioned. A
Sunlight contributor and consultant advises that the line which reads

"One who is pierced by the arrows of this glance
is like a warrior without a shield."

should be more accurately translated as

"Only the one who is not afraid of Love (doesn't have a shield
against Love)
can be hunted by the arrows of His/her glance."

It has been suggested that the complexity, depth, and challenge of
the latter, is not apparent in the former. Although he refers
to his offerings as "translations", Mr. Star does not speak or read
Persian. He variously acknowledges Nicholson, Ergin, and Shiva as
the sources of the translations from which he fabricates his

The media:


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