Friday, July 18, 2008

[Sunlight] Who is this Beautiful One?


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 566, from Rumi's "Diwan-e
Shams", in a poetic version by Jonathan Star, and a literal
translation by A.J. Arberry:


"Love Tricks"

Who is this Beautiful One,
This One who stays up all night
teaching love tricks to Venus and the Moon?
This One
whose enchanting gaze
seals up the two eyes of heaven?

O seekers, it is your own heart!

Day and night,
I am so taken by Him
that no one can be taken by me.
At the beginning I was born of his love,
In the end I gave Him my heart.
A fruit which falls from a branch
must first cling to that same branch.

A man may run from his own shadow,
searching for light,
but will he ever find a place to rest?

The tip of His curl is saying,
"Walk this tightrope."
The fire of His candle is saying,
"O Moth, come here."
O heart, be steady,
dance gently upon that rope.

But the moment you hear His call
fly into the candle's flame.

When you knew the rapture of this burning
you would not go on for another moment
without its heat.
Even if the water of life
were pouring all around
it would not lure you from the flames.

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


A fair idol that all the night teaches tricks to Venus and the
moon, his two eyes by witchery sew up the two eyes of heaven.
Look out for your hearts, Moslems, for I at all events am so
commingled with Him that no heart is commingled with me.
First I was born of His love, finally I gave my heart to
Him; when fruit is born of a branch, from that branch it hangs.
I am fleeing from my own shadow, for the light is hidden
from the shadow; where shall he rest at last who flees from his
The- tip of His tress is saying, "Ha, quick, to the rope-trick!"
The cheek of His candle is saying, "Where is the moth, that it
may burn?"
For the sake of that rope-trick be brave,* and become a
hoop; fling yourself into the fire, when His candle is kindled.
When you have seen the joy of burning you will no more
endure without the flame; even if the water of life came to
you, it would not stir you from the flame.

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

*Also translated as, "make haste."



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