Friday, August 03, 2007

[Sunlight] Preparation for planting -- and Notice of Vacation


Sunlight will be on vacation until September 4th.


Here, Sunlight offers three renditions of verses from the


The Absolute Being works in nonexistence -
what but nonexistence is the workshop of the Maker
of existence?

Does anyone write upon a written page? Does
anyone plant a sapling in a place already planted?

No, he searches for a paper free of writing, he
sows a seed in a place unsown.

Be, oh brother, a place unsown, a white paper
untouched by the pen!

-- Mathnawi V: 1960-63
Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983


Does anyone write something on a place
that has already been written over,
or plant a sapling where one already grows?
No; he seeks a blank piece of paper
and sows the seed where none has yet been sown.
Sister, be bare earth; be a clean piece of paper
untouched by writing, that you may be ennobled by the pen of revelation,*
so that the Gracious One may sow seed within you.


Bar neveshteh hich be-nevisad kasi
yâ nehâleh kârd andar maghresi
Kâghazi juyad keh ân be-neveshteh nist
tokhm kârd mawze`i keh keshteh nist
To berâdar mawze`i nâ-keshteh bâsh
kâghaz-e aspid nâ be-neveshteh bâsh
Tâ mosharraf gardi az Nûn wa-al-qalam*
tâ be-kârd dar to tokhm ân Zu al-Karam

*al-Qalam, 1

-- Mathnawi V:1961-1964
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra


The Absolute works with nothing.
The workshop, the materials
are what does not exist.

Try and be a sheet of paper with nothing on it.
Be a spot of ground where is nothing is growing,
where something might be planted,
a seed, possibly, from the Absolute.

-- Mathnawi V: 1960-64
Version by Coleman Barks
"The Essential Rumi"
Castle Books, 1995



Archive for Sunlight can be accessed at: /messages
To subscribe, please send an email to :
To unsubscribe, please send an email to:

Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> Your email settings:
Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:

(Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

1 comment:

irving said...

I prefer Prof. Chittick's translation, but thank you for always presenting us with a choice :)

Ya Haqq!