Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"No one in the world is as precious as you"

i swear my dear son*
no one in the entire world
is as precious as you are

look at that mirror
take a good look at yourself
who else is there above and beyond you

now give yourself a kiss
and with sweet whispers
fill your ears to the brim

watch for all that beauty
reflecting from you
and sing a love song to your existence

you can never overdo
praising your own soul
you can never over-pamper your heart

you are both
the father and the son
the sugar and the sugar cane

who else but you
please tell me who else
can ever take your place

now give yourself a smile
what is the worth of a diamond
if it doesn't smile

how can i ever put a price
on the diamond that you are
you are the entire treasure of the house

you and your shadow
are forever present in this world
you're that glorious bird of paradise*

-- Ghazal 2148, from the Diwan-e Shams
Poetic translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1994

Sunlight notes:

*my dear son: literally, "O son" [ay pesar] in the Persian. Could refer
to anyone, but here it probably refers to one of Rumi's disciples,
rather than his son, Sultan Walad. In general, Rumi uses such phrases
as "O son" and "O youth" to address the reader, as well as to add
syllables to a verse.
*glorious bird of paradise: the "homaa," a miraculous bird whose
shadow, if it should fall upon a man, destines him to become a king.
Therefore, this bird is a symbol good fortune.

-- Footnotes (c) Ibrahim Gamard, 2000

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