Monday, November 09, 2009

[Sunlight] Fill your bow with me and let fly! -- Ghazal 100


Here, Sunlight offers Rumi's Ghazal (Ode) 100, from the Divan-e Shams, in a version from Coleman Barks, and in translation by A.J. Arberry:


You that give new life to this planet,
you that transcend logic, come.

I am only an arrow. Fill your bow
with me and let fly!

Because of this love for you,
my bowl has fallen from the roof.

Put down a ladder,
and collect the pieces, please!

People ask, "But which roof is your roof?"
I answer, "Wherever the soul came from
and wherever it goes at night,

my roof is in that direction! From wherever
Spring arrives to heal the ground, from
wherever searching rises in a human being."

The looking itself is a trace
of what we're looking for,

but we've been more like the man who sat on his donkey
and asked the donkey where to go!

Be quiet now and wait.
It may be that the ocean One, that we desire so to
move into and become,

desires us out here on land a little longer,
going our sundry roads to the shore.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"Say I am You"
Maypop, 1994


Come, you who have given new life to the world, put out of
action cunning reason.
Until you flight me like an arrow, I cannot fly; come, fill once
more the bow.
Because of your love, the bowl has fallen again from the roof*;
once more send down from the roof that ladder.
Men ask me, "In which direction is His roof?" In that direction
whence the soul was brought;
In that direction whither every night the soul departs, then in
the time of dawn He brings back the soul*;
In that direction whence spring comes to the earth, and at
dawn He bestows a new lamp upon the heavens;
In that direction whence a staff became a serpent*, and He bore
off Pharaoh's host to hell;
In that direction whence arose this quest in you -- itself a
token, it seeks a token.
You are that man who is seated upon an ass, and keeps asking
of the ass this and that
Be silent; for out of jealous regard He desires not to bring all
and sundry into the sea.

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

*"The bowl has fallen again from the roof": "a metaphor coneying the idea of divulgation, exposure, and notoriety" (Nicholson's note on Math. II:2061)
*In sleep the soul is liberated from the body, see Nicholson on Math. I:400.
*The miracle of Moses' staff, see Koran 7:110-14, 20:68-69.




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