Wednesday, May 14, 2008

[Sunlight] "Tulips, violets and jasmine sprout" -- Ghazal 2006


Today, Sunlight offers Rumi's Ghazal (Ode) 2006, in a version by
Professor Barks, and in translations by Professors Schimmel and


Jasmine comes up where You step
You breathe on dirt, and it sails off
like a kite. You wash Your hands,
and the water You throw out shines with gold.

You say the first line of the Qur'an,
and all the dead commentators lift their heads.

Your robe brushes a thornbush,
and a deep chord of music comes.

Whatever You break finds itself more intelligent
for being broken. Every second a new being
stands in the courtyard of Your chest
like Adam, without a father or mother,
but the beginning of many generations to come.

I should rhyme that fifty times!

The beginning of many
generations to come,

a line without any
inclination to end!

But I won't. I close my mouth
in hopes You'll open Yours.

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


Where you put your foot on earth, my life,
Tulips, violets and jasmine sprout.
If you take some clay and breathe on it,
It becomes a hawk, a dove, a crow!
If you wash your hand in earthen bowls
They become, thanks to your hand, pure gold.
If you say a prayer at a grave –
Look, a happy man lifts up his head!
If your garment strikes the claws of thorns,
They become a harp with sweetest sound.
Ev'ry idol that you smash, O friend,
Gets his soul and intellect from you.
If you shine on some ill-starred man –
Fortune's star relieves him from all pain!
Fifty verses would I like to sing,
But I close my mouth. You open yours!

-- Translation by Annemarie Schimmel
"Look! This is Love - Poems of Rumi"
Shambala, 1991


Wherever you set your foot, my darling, tulip and violet and
jasmine spring up.
You breathe upon a piece of clay, and it becomes either a dove
or a kite.
You wash your hands in a dish and from the water of your
hand that basin becomes of gold.
You recite the Fateha over a grave and a Bu'l-Fotuh raises his
head from the winding-sheet.*
Your shirt strikes against the clutch of a thorn, and its clutch
becomes a strumming lute.
Every idol you have broken, O Abraham, received life and
finds intellect from that breaking.
Since the new moon shone upon an evil-starred one, it
became the greatest good fortune and he escaped from misfortune.
Every moment there springs from the court of your breast a
newborn without mother or father, like Adam.
And thereafter from his side and loins children abound in the
I wanted to speak fifty couplets on this rhyme; I closed my
lips, that you might open your mouth.

-- Translation by A. J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 2"
The University of Chicago Press 1968/1991
(Footnote by Professor Arberry)

* Fateha, the first sura of the Qur'an, is recited several times in
daily prayers. Bu'l-Fotah seems to be a "konya" or title
meaning "father of victories. "Golpinarli, following the same idea,
translates the line: "If you recite Fateha over a grave, the person
will rise with the victorious ones. . ." (4:249). Otherwise, one
might think that the reference is to Abu'l Fotuh Razi, the celebrated
commentator of the Qur'an, meaning a man like Abu'l Fotuh rises when
the fateha is recited.




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:


No comments: