Tuesday, January 12, 2010

[Sunlight] The Poet Asking Help


Today, Sunlight offers two English presentations of the Mathnawi
verses from Book III, verses 1490 et. seq., in addition to a partial
Persian transliteration:


O You who make demands within me like an embryo,
since You are the one who makes the demand,
make its fulfillment easy;
show the way, help me,
or else relinquish Your claim
and take this burden from me!
Since from a debtor You're demanding gold,
give him gold in secret, O King!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ay Taqâzâ-gâr darun hamchon janin
chon taqâzâ mi koni etmâm in
Sahl gardân rah namâ tawfiq deh
yâ taqâzâ-râ be-hel bar mâ ma-neh
Chon ze mofles zar taqâzâ mi koni
zar be-bakhsh dar serr ay Shâh-e Ghani

-- Mathnawi III: 1490-1492
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
(Developed from the translation by Nicholson)
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra)

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

The Poet's excusing himself and asking help.

Since Thou art demanding gold from an insolvent, give him
gold in secret, O rich King!
Without Thee, how how should poesy and rhyme dare to come
into sight at eve or morn?
Poesy and homonymy and rhymes, O Knowing One, are the
slaves of Thy Command from fear and dread,
Inasmuch as Thou hast made everything a glorifier (of Thee)
- the undiscerning entity and the discerning (alike).
Each glorifies (Thee) in a different fashion, and that one is
unaware of the state of this one.
Man disbelieves in the glorification uttered by inanimate
things, but those inanimate things are masters in (performing)
Nay, the two-and-seventy sects, every one, are unaware of
(the real state of) each other and in a (great) doubt.
Since two speakers have no knowledge of each other's state,
how will (it) be (with) wall and door?*
Since I am heeless of the glorification uttered byt one who
speaks, how should my heart know the glorification performed
by that which is mute?
The Sunni is unaware of the Jabri's (mode of) glorification,*
the Jabri is unaffected by the Sunni's (mode of) glorification;
The Sunni has a particular (mode of) glorification, the Jabri
has the opposite thereof in (taking) refuge (with God).
This one (the Jabri) says, "He (the Sunni) is astray and lost,"
(being) unaware of his (real) state and of the (Divine) command,
"Arise and preach!"
And that one (the Sunni) says, "What awareness has this one
(the Jabri)?" God, by fore-ordainment, hath cast them into
He maketh manifest the real nature of each, He displays the
congener by (contrast with) the uncognial.
Every one knows (can distinguish) mercy from vengeance,
whether he be wise or ignorant or vile,
But a mercy that has become hidden in vengeance, or a
vengeance that has sunk into the heart of mercy,
No one knows except the divine (deified) man in whose heart
is a spiritual touchstone.
The rest hold (only) an opinion of these two (qualities)*: they
fly to their nest with a single wing.

-- Mathnawi III: 1490-1509
"The Mathnawi of Jalalu'ddin Mowlana Rumi"
Translation by Reynolds A. Nicholson
Published by E.J.W. Gibb Memorial Trust, 1990

Nicholson's Notes:

* " wall and door" -- I.e., "how should a human being be acquainted
with the manner in which inanimate objects glorify God?"
* "Jabri" is one who holds the doctrine of jabr (necessitarianism).
* "two (qualities)" -- I.e., the mercy latent in vengeance and the
vengeance latent in mercy.




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