Wednesday, January 14, 2009

[Sunlight] Tired of hunting, I surrender


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 1419, from Rumi's "Diwan-e
Shams" ("The Collection of Shams"), in translations by Nader
Khalili, and Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi:


i was ready to tell
the story of my life
but the ripple of tears
and the agony of my heart
wouldn't let me

i began to stutter
saying a word here and there
and all along i felt
as tender as a crystal
ready to be shattered

in this stormy sea
we call life
all the big ships
come apart
board by board

how can i survive
riding a lonely
little boat
with no oars
and no arms

my boat did finally break
by the waves
and i broke free
as i tied myself
to a single board

though the panic is gone
i am now offended
why should i be so helpless
rising with one wave
and falling with the next

i don't know
if i am
while i exist
but i know for sure
when i am
i am not
when i am not
then i am

now how can i be
a skeptic
about the
resurrection and
coming to life again

since in this world
i have many times
like my own imagination
died and
been born again

that is why
after a long agonizing life
as a hunter
i finally let go and got
hunted down and became free

-- Translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi -- Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1994


I was going to tell you my story
but waves of pain drowned my voice.
I tried to utter a word but my thoughts
became fragile and shattered like glass.
Even the largest ship can capsize
in the stormy sea of love,
let alone my feeble boat
which shattered to pieces leaving me nothing
but a strip of wood to hold on to.
Small and helpless, rising to heaven
on one wave of love and falling with the next
I don't even know if I am or I am not.
When I think I am, I find myself worthless,
when I think I am not, I find my value.
Like my thoughts, I die and rise again each day
so how can I doubt the resurrection?
Tired of hunting for love in this world,
at last I surrender in the valley of love
and become free.

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




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