Monday, August 10, 2009

[Sunlight] Only through this -- Ghazal 3090


Sunlight presents Ghazal 3090, in poetic versions by Jonathan Star and Coleman Barks, and in literal translation by A.J. Arberry:



Abandon this world
That you may become King of all worlds.
Throw away your handful of sugar
That you may become a sugar field.

Leap like a flame through the sky.
Scatter the dark spirits
and become the pillar of heaven.

When Noah sails upon the flooding waters
you will be his ark.
When the Prophet ascends to heaven
you will be his ladder.
When Jesus walks among the weary souls
you will be his healing breath.
When Moses goes forth as a shepherd
you will be his staff.

A divine fire blazes within you.
Don't jump back like a coward.
Cook in the fire!
Bake like bread!
Soon you'll be the prize of every table,
the life-giving food of every soul.

Walk patiently through this troubled world
and you'll find a great treasure.
Even though your house is small, look within it –
you will find the secrets
of the unseen world.

I asked, "Why have I received only this?"
A voice replied,
"'Only this' will lead you to That!"

No more words from my mouth.
I didn't come here to wag my chin,
I came here to chew on sugar-cane.

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


Forget the world, and so command the world.

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.
Help someone's soul heal.
Walk out of your house like a shepherd.

Stay in the spiritual fire. Let it cook you.
Be a well-baked loaf and lord of the table.
Come and be served to your brothers.

You have been a source of pain.
Now you'll be the delight.

You have been an unsafe house. Now you'll
be the One who sees into the Invisible.

I said this, and a Voice came to my ear,
"If you become this, you will be That! "

Then Silence,
and now more Silence.

A mouth is not for talking.
A mouth is for tasting this Sweetness.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
from a translation by A.J. Arberry
"Like This"
Maypop, 1990


Leap, leap from the world, that you may be king of the world;
seize the sugar tray that you may be a sugar plantation.
Leap, leap like a meteor to slay the div*; when you leap out of
stardom, you will be the pole of heaven.*
When Noah sets out for the sea, you will be his ship; when the
Messiah goes to heaven, you will be the ladder.
Now like Jesus of Mary you become the soul's physician; and
now like Moses of Emran you will go forth to be a shepherd.
There is a spiritual fire for the sake of cooking you; if you leap
back like a woman, you will be a raw cuckold.
If you do not flee from the fire, and become wholly cooked
like well-baked bread, you will be a master and lord of the table.
When you come to the table and the brethren receive you, like
bread you will be sustenance of the soul and you will be the soul.
Though you are the mine of pain, by patience you will become
the treasure; though you are a flawed house, you will be a knower
of the unseen.
I said this, and a call came from heaven to my spirit's ear
saying, "If you become like this, you will be like that."
Silence! the mouth is intended for cracking sugar, not for you
to cast slack and become a chin-wagger.

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

*div: "demons," a Persian translation of the Quranic word "satans." Refers a
verse in the Qur'an (67:5) which describes how "shooting stars" drive away any
satans who attempt to eavesdrop on Heavenly secrets: "And We have adorned the
sky of the world with lamps, and We have made them as missiles to drive away the
evil ones." This verse is generally understood as symbolizing the fruitless
attempts of astrologers ("satans among the humans") to understand Heavenly
secrets. (Sunlight thanks Ibrahim Gamard for the additional information
he has added to this footnote.)




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: