Friday, November 30, 2007

[Sunlight] "The Sanctuary of Love:


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 1335, in translations by
Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi, and by Professor Arberry, and in
versions by Jonathan Star and Professor Barks:


Who is in the house of my heart,
I cried in the middle of the night.
Love said,
"It is I, but what are all these images that fill your house?"
I said, they are the reflection of your beautiful face.
She asked,
"But what is this image full of pain?"
I said, it is me lost in the sorrows of life
and showed her my soul full of wounds.
She offered me one end of a thread and said:
"Take it so I can pull you back
but do not break the delicate string."
I reached towards her but she struck my hand.
I asked, why the harshness?
She said,
"To remind you that whoever comes to love's holy space,
proud and full of himself will be sent away.
Look at love with the eyes of your heart."

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


"I Cried Out at Midnight"

I cried out at midnight,
"Who lives in the house of my heart?"
An answer came back,
"It is I, whose radiance
puts the Sun and Moon to shame."

He then asked,
"Why is this house of the heart
so full of images?"
I said, "They are the reflections of you,
whose face is the envy of Chigil."
He asked, "What is this other image
all soaked in blood?"
I said, "It is me
with my heart torn open
and my feet caught in the mud."

I tied a noose round the neck of my soul
and brought it to Him:
"Here is the one who turned his back on love -
Do no let him escape this time."

He gave me one end of a thread
which was twisted with guile and deceit.
He said, "Pull on this end,
I will pull on the other,
And let's hope the thread doesn't break
in the pulling."

From the chamber of my soul
the form of my Beloved
shone more radiant than ever.
I reached out and grabbed Him with my hand -
He knocked it away and said,
"Don't cling to me!"
I said, "You've become harsh like all the rest."

He said, "Don't insult me - I am harsher than all the rest!
But what I do is born of love, not malice or spite.
I am here to make your heart a shrine of love,
not a pen for holding sheep. . . ."

The Beautiful One has made this world out of gold.
Rub your eyes and see
that He is the keeper of your heart.

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


"Talking in the Night"

In the middle of the night,
I cried out,
"Who lives in this love
I have?
You said, "I do, but I'm not here
alone. Why are these other images
with me?"
I said, "They are reflections of you,
just as the beautiful inhabitants of Chigil
in Turkestan resemble each other."

You said, "But who is this other living
"That is my wounded soul."

Then I brought that soul
to you as a prisoner.
"This one is dangerous,"
I said. "Don't let him off easy."

You winked and gave me one end
of a delicate thread.
"Pull it tight,
but don't break it."
I reached my hand
to touch you. You struck it down.

"Why are you so harsh with me?"

"For good reason. But certainly not
to keep you away! Whoever enters this place
saying "Here I am" must be slapped.

This is not a pen for sheep.
There are no separating distances here.
This is love's sanctuary.

Saladin is how the soul looks. Rub your eyes,
and look again with love at love.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"Say I Am You"
Maypop, 1994


I cried out at midnight, "Who is in this house of the heart?"
He said, "It is I, by whose countenance the sun and the moon are
put to shame."
He said, "Why is this house of the heart full of all sorts of
images?" I said, "These are reflections of You, whose face is
the envy of Chigil*."
He said, "What is this other image, full of the heart's blood?"
I said, "This is the image of me, heart wounded and feet in the
I bound the neck of my soul and brought it before him as a
token: "It is a sinner of love; do not acquit your sinner."
He gave me the end of a thread, a thread full of mischief and
craft; he said, "Pull, that I may pull, pull and at the same time do
not break."
From that tent of the soul the form of my Turk flashed out
fairer than before; I reached out my hand to him; He struck
my hand, saying, "Let go!"
I said, "You have turned harsh, like So-and-so." He said,
"Know that I am harsh for a good purpose, not harsh out of
rancour and spite.
Whoever enters in saying, 'It is I,' I strike him on the brow,
for this is the sanctuary of Love, animal, it is not a sheepcote."
Salah-i Dil u Din* is truly the image of that Turk; rub your
eyes, and behold the image of the heart, the image of the heart.

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

* Chigil in Turkestan was proverbial for its handsome inhabitants.
* Salah al-Din Zarkub was first Rumi's friend, and later his
spiritual inspiration, after Rumi accepted the likelihood of Shams al-
Din's death. According to Sultan Valad, Rumi's son, Rumi said of
Salah al-Din:

"That Shams al-Din of whom we always spoke
has come back to us! Why do we slumber?
Changed into new clothes, he has returned
to flaunt and strut and show his beauty."

(Translation by Franklin D. Lewis, "Rumi, Past and Present, East
and West". Sunlight footnote.)



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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent! Each translation is lovely in its own way, and explores the poem differently. Thank you :)

Ya Haqq!