Monday, October 02, 2006

Cleverly seeking the moon-faced one's favor

Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 1538, in a version by Coleman
Barks, and in a translation by Kolin and Mafi, and in a translation by A.J. Arberry:

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

I was seeking knowledge
when that beautiful one appeared.
I tried to charm him and asked:
Would you kindly interpret the dream
I had last night, you are my only confidant.

He shook his head and smiled
as if he could see through me and said:
`Don't try to charm me,
I see every nuance, every color and scent.
I am your mirror.'

In his hands I become the design he weaves
with golden thread,
I become his living masterpiece.

-- Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
Rumi: Hidden Music
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I tried to think of some way
to let my face become his.

"Could I whisper in your ear
a dream I've had? You're the only one
I've told this to."

He tilts his head, laughing,
as if, "I know the trick you're hatching,
but go ahead."

I am an image he stitches with gold thread
on a tapestry, the least figure,
a playful addition.

But nothing he works on is dull.
I am part of the beauty.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"These Branching Moments"
Copper Beech Press, 1988

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I was intent on seeking a stratagem, that that moon-faced one
might set his face on mine.
I said, "I have one word in my mind; come forward, that I may
speak it in your ear.
Last night, dear soul, I saw a dream, and I desire to seek from
you its interpretation.
I have none intimate with this dream but you; do you listen,
my king whose habit is to conceal."
He moved his head and laughed - that head which knows me
hair by hair -
As if to say, " You are hatching a trick to play on me, for I am
the mirror of every hue and scent."
I am as a plaything in his hands, for I am the picture drawn by
his gold-stitching needle.
Not lifeless shall be the image which he has made; I am his
least image, I am therefore in ecstasy.

-- Translation by A. J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"
The University of Chicago Press, 1968

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