Thursday, February 26, 2009

[Sunlight] Flames from that wine -- Ghazal 2395


Today, Sunlight offers three presentations of Ghazal (Ode) 2395,
from Molana Rumi's "Diwan-e Shams" -- a version by Coleman Barks, and
translations by Annemarie Schimmel and A.J. Arberry:


My love wanders the rooms, melodious,
flute-notes, plucked wires,
full of wine the Magi drank
on the way to Bethlehem.

We are three. The moon comes
from its quiet corner, puts a pitcher of water
down in the center. The circle
of surface flames.

One of us kneels to kiss the threshold.

One drinks, with wine-flames playing over his face.

One watches the gathering,

and says to any cold onlookers,

This dance is the joy of existence.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"We Are Three"
Maypop, 1987

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I saw my Beloved wandering about the house:
He had taken up a rebeck and was playing a tune.
With a touch like fire he was playing a sweet melody,
Drunken and distraught and bewitching from the night's
He was invoking the cup-bearer in the mode of Iraq:
Wine was his object, the cup-bearer was only an excuse.
The beauteous cup-bearer, pitcher in hand,
Stepped forth from a recess and placed it in the middle.
He filled the first up with that sparkling wine-
Didst thou ever see water set on fire?
For the sake of those in love he passed it from hand to hand,
Then bowed and kissed the lintel.
My Beloved received it from him, and quaffed the wine:
Instantly o'er his face and head ran flashes of flame.
Meanwhile he was regarding his own beauty and saying to the
evil eye:
"there has not been nor will be in this age another like me.
I am the Divine sun of the world, I am the Beloved of the
Soul and spirit are continually moving before me."

-- Translation by Annemarie Schimmel
"The Triumphal Sun"
SUNY, 1993

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I saw my sweetheart wandering about the house; he had
taken a rebec and was playing a melody.
With a plectrum like fire he was playing a sweet melody,
drunken and dissolute and charming from the Magian wine.
He was invoking the saqi* in the air of Iraq*; the wine was his
object, the saqi was his excuse.
The moonfaced saqi, pitcher in his hand, entered from a
corner and set it in the middle.
He filled the first cup with that flaming wine; did you ever see
water sending out flames?
He set it on his hand for the sake of the lovers then prostrated
and kissed the threshold.
My sweetheart seized it from him and quaffed the wine; flames
from that wine went running over the face.
He was beholding his own beauty, and saying to the evil eye,
"Never has there been, nor shall there come in this age, another
like me."

-- Translation by A.J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 2"
The University of Chicago Press, 1991

*"Saqi" - "Cupbearer" or "Winebearer", bringing metaphorical,
intoxicating "wine". Usually depicted in traditional Persian
miniatures as a beautiful young woman with a jug of wine. --
Sunlight Ed.

*The air of Iraq is a Persian tune. -- Arberry




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