Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"A fire which no water can extinguish"


Here, Sunlight presents Ghazal (Ode) 310, in versions by Star,
Barks, and Cowan, and in translation by A.J. Arberry:

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Here He comes
A moon whose light the sky never saw
even in her dreams,
Crowned with an eternal flame
no flood can hope to quench.

His cup, long out of reach, now spills over,
filling my senses,
desolating my soul.

The saaqi has become my dearest friend.
With each new round she pours,
my blood turns to nectar,
my heart to a holy shrine.
Now I see only Him!
Now I hear His voice alone:

Let my love fill your golden cup
like sunbeams showering the earth.
Let it flow to every corner of your soul.
Let it tear up the gnarled roots of regret
and nourish the tender seeds of hope.

When my heart saw the ocean of His love
it jumped in and yelled,
Find me if you can!

O, where can I look for my missing heart?
Where, but the face of Shams-e Tabriz?

He is the Sun
In whose track
Every heart must follow.

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


The moon has come back out,
the other moon, that was never above us,
or seen in dreams, the moon that brings fire
and pours wine, the host that cooks us
to tenderness.

Our eyes look at the prepared sight
and say, Well done. Bravo!

Then we remember the ocean
and leap out of our personalities into that.
Try to find us!

The sun goes down,
with a line of clouds running to catch up.

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


That moon, undreamt even by sky, returns
Bringing a fire no water can quench.

The temple of my body and my soul
Are made drunken and desolate by his love.

When the tavern-keeper became my soul-mate
My blood turned to wine, my heart to kebab.

When the eye is consumed by thought of him
A voice arrives: Well done, O Flagon. Brave, wine!

Loves fingers drag up, root and stem,
Every flower where Love's rays fall.

When my heart noticed Love's sea, suddenly
It escaped me and leapt in, crying, "Save me!"

Tabriz's glory, the face of the Wild One is
The Sun whose track all cloudy hearts follow.

-- Version by James Cowan
"Rumi's Divan of Shems of Tabriz, Selected Odes"
Element Books Limited 1997


That moon has returned, whose like the sky never saw even in
dreams; he has brought a fire which no water can extinguish.
Behold the body's tenement, and behold my soul -- Love's cup
has intoxicated the one and ruined the other.
When the master of the tavern became my heart's companion,
my blood turned to wine out of love, my heart to roast.
When the eye is filled with his image, a voice proclaims,
"Well done, goblet, and bravo, wine!"
My heart suddenly descried the ocean of Love; it leaped away
from me, saying, "Come, find me now!"
The sun of the countenance of Shams-i Din, Pride of Tabriz
-- in its track like clouds all hearts are running.

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

The media:

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