Thursday, February 10, 2011

[Sunlight] That lilies may grow -- Ghazal 1486


Today, Sunlight offers Ghazal 1486, in a version by Barks, a
translation by Kolin and Mafi, and a translation by Arberry,
accompanied by a link to a Persian image:


"The Shape of My Tongue"

This mirror inside me shows . . .
I can't say what, but I can't not know!

I run from body. I run from spirit.
I do not belong anywhere.

I'm not alive!
You smell the decay?

You talk about my craziness.
Listen rather to the honed-blade sanity I say.

This gourd head on top of a dervish robe,
do I look like someone you know?

This dipper gourd full of liquid,
upsidedown and not spilling a drop!

Or if it spills, it drops into God
and rounds into pearls.

I form a cloud over that ocean
and gather spillings.

When Shams is here,
I rain.

After a day or two, lilies sprout,
the shape of my tongue.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"The Essential Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 1995

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

My soul is a mirror that reveals secrets,
I may not speak about them but
cannot deny knowing.
I run away from body and soul
where I belong, I swear, I do not know.
Seeker, if you want to know the secret,
first you must die to your self.
You may see me but do not think I am here
I have vanished into my Beloved
graced by the essence of love.
My arched back is the bow and my words,
the unbending arrows aimed at Truth.
My tears are testimony of my devotion to Shams
and from those tears white lilies will grow
that will speak the Truth.

-- Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
"Rumi: Hidden Music"
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001

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

Like a mirror my soul displays secrets; I am not able to speak;
but I am unable not to know.
I have become a fugitive from the body, fearful as to the
spirit; I swear I know not -- I belong neither to this nor to that.
Seeker, to catch a scent is the condition of dying; look not
upon me as living, for I am not so.
Look not on my crookedness, but behold this straight word;
my talk is an arrow, and I am as a bow.
This gourdlike head on top of me, and this dervish habit of my
body -- whom am I like, whom am I like in this market of the
Then this gourd on my head, full of liquor -- I keep it upside
down, yet I do not let a drop trickle from it.
And even if I do not let trickle, do you behold the power of God,
that in exchange for that drop I gather pearls from the ea.
My eyes like a cloud gather pearls from that sea; this cloud of
my spirit rises to the heaven of fidelity.
I rain in the presence of Shams al-Haqq-i Tabriz, that lilies
may grow in the form of my tongue.

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




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