Wednesday, January 13, 2010

[Sunlight] "Everywhere the secret of God is coming" -- Ghazal 837


Today, Sunlight offers three presentations of Ghazal (Ode) 837 -
a poetic translation by Nader Khalili; an interpretive version by
Coleman Barks (based on the translation by A.J. Arberry);
and Arberry's translation:


the aroma of God
begins to arrive

look at these people
not knowing their feet from head
as they begin to arrive

every soul is seeking His soul
every soul parched with thirst
they've all heard the voice
of the quencher of thirst

everyone tastes the love
everyone tastes the milk
anxious to know
from where the real mother
begins to arrive

waiting in fever
wondering ceaselessly
when will that final union
begin to arrive

Moslems and Christians and Jews
raising their hands to the sky
their chanting voice in unison
begin to arrive
how happy is the one
whose heart's ear
hears that special voice
as it begins to arrive

clear your ears my friend
from all impurity
a polluted ear
can never hear the sound
as it begins to arrive

if your eyes are marred
with petty visions
wash them with tears
your teardrops are healers
as they begin to arrive

keep silence
don't rush to finish your poem
the finisher of the poem
the creator of the word
will begin to arrive

-- Translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1995

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We can't help being thirsty,
moving toward the voice of water.

Milk-drinkers draw close to the mother.
Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists,
Hindus, shamans, everyone hears
the intelligent sound and moves,
with thirst, to meet it.

Clean your ears. Don't listen
for something you've heard before.

Invisible camel bells, slight footfalls in sand.

Almost in sight! The first word they call out
will be the last word of our last poem.

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Everywhere the secret of God is coming - see how the people
are coming uncontrollably;
From him for whom all souls are athirst, to the thirsty the cry
of the water carrier is coming.
They are milk drinkers of divine generosity, and are on the
watch to see from whence the mother is coming.
The are in separation, and all are waiting to see whence
union and encounter are coming.
From Moslems, Jews, and Christians alike every dawn the
sound of prayer is coming;
Blessed is that intelligence into whose heart's ear from heaven
the sound of "come hither" is coming.
Keep your ear clean of scum, for a voice is coming from
The defiled ear hears not that sound - only the deserving gets
his deserts.
Defile not your eye with human cheek and mole, for that
Emperor of eternal life is coming;
And if it has become defiled, wash it with tears, for the cure
comes from those tears.
A caravan of sugar has arrived from Egypt; the sound of
footfall and bells is coming.
Ha, be silent, for to complete the ode our speaking King is

-- Translation by A.J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"
The University of Chicago Press 1968/1991




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