Saturday, April 07, 2007

"Give yourself a kiss"


Sunlight presents Ghazal 2061, in poetic version by Coleman Barks and
in translation by A.J. Arberry:

Give yourself a kiss.
If you live in China, don't look
somewhere else, in Tibet, or Mongolia.

If you want to hold the beautiful one,
hold yourself to yourself.

When you kiss the Beloved,
touch your own lips with your own fingers.

The beauty of every woman and every man
is your own beauty.

The confusion of your hair
obscures that sometimes.

An artist comes to paint you
and stands with his mouth open.

Your love reveals your beauty,
but all covering would disappear
if only for a moment your holding-back
would sit before your generosity
and ask,
"Sir, who are you?"
At that,
Shams' life-changing face
gives you a wink.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"Like This"
Maypop, 1990

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

Give yourself a kiss, silvery-bodied idol; you who are in
Cathay, do not search for yourself in Kotan.
If you would draw a silvery-bodied one into your bosom,
where is the like of you? You must kiss the Beloved, then caress
your own mouth.
For the sake of your beauty are the robes of the houris; the
beauty of every man or woman is the reflection of your lovely face.
The veil over your beauty is the tresses of your hair, else the light
of you would have shone out, O sweet of chin.
The painter of the body came towards the idols of the thoughts;his
hand and heart were broken, his mouth stood open.
This painted cage is the veil of the bird on the heart; you have not
recognized the heart because….. of the heart-breaking case.
The heart flung off the veil from the clay of Adam, and all of
the angels prostrated themselves.
The intermediary would vanish if only for a moment love's
Turk sat down before his grace, saying "O Chelebi, who are
The eye would be endowed with sight of the unseen, if the
glance of Shams-e Din, Pride of all of Tabriz, stole a wink
at you.

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

* The Turks were well known for their beauty and cruelty.
Chelebi in Turkish means "sir."

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