Thursday, October 22, 2009

[Sunlight] Split open with yearning -- Ghazal 2157


Today, Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 2157, in three
presentations -- a translation by Khalili, a poetic version from
Barks, and the translation by A.J. Arberry upon which Barks based his


rocks crack apart
filled with passions
longing to have
a glimpse of you

soul grows wings
over-joyed with desire
flying in search of you

fire changes to water
wisdom becomes insanity
and my own eyes
turn out to be the enemy
of my sleep
as they long to see you

there is a dragon
devouring rocks and men
causing insanity
destroying peaceful lives
and calling itself love

don't imprison free souls
don't change laughter to cries
don't press us so hard
there is no one
but you to turn to

your love demands
nothing less than
my wounded heart
and my heart is filled
with nothing but your longings

the wine jar is boiling over
someone is drinking the wine
and making the harp play itself
the sonnets to your admiration

your love entered my house
saw me without you
put its hand over my head
and said pity on you

this love journey
is surely the hardest and
most twisted road i have taken
i began the journey but my heart
is still dragging behind
wrapped around your feet

-- Translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Burning Gate Press 1994.


The rock splits open like wings beat
air, wanting. Campfire gives in to rain,
but I can't go to sleep, or be patient.

Part of me wants to eat the stones
and hold you back when you're leaving,
'till your good laughing turns bitter and wrong.

I worry I won't have someone to talk to, and breathe with.
Don't you understand I'm some kind of food for you?
I'm a place where you can work.

The bottle is corked and sitting on the table.
Someone comes in and sees me without you
and puts his hand on my head like I'm a child.
This is so difficult.

-- Poetic version by Coleman Barks
"Open Secret"
Threshold Books, 1984


The rock splits open in yearning to encounter you; the soul
beats wing and pinion in the joy of your air.
Fire becomes water, reason is lain waste, my eye becomes the
foe of sleep on account of you.
Rending the robe of patience, reason departs out of itself; your
love like a dragon devours both men and stones.
Do not bind the departer, do not turn laughter to mocking;
be not cruel, for your servant has none to take your place.
When your water departs to the river, how shall my discourse
flow well? Sometimes my breath ceases because you are so shy.
What is the food of your love? This roasted liver of mine. What
is my ruined heart? The workshop of your fidelity.
The jar is fermenting; who will drink? The harp sings aloud in
the description and praise of you.
Love entered by my door and laid a hand on my head, saw that
I was without you, and said, "Alas for you!"
I saw a difficult stage, troubled and very complex; I went, and
now remain a heart slain by your hand at your feet.

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




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