Wednesday, March 23, 2011

[Sunlight] It is the scent of home that keeps me going


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 1395, from Rumi's "Diwan-e
Shams" ("The Collection of Shams"), in a poetic translation by Nader
Khalili, and in a translation by Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi:


i am
the minstrel of
eternal love
and will play
the song of happiness

when my soul
hears music
and changes to softness
i'll break open
the wine jar's seal

i am in love
with the temple of fire*
because i was born
as the prophet
named Khalili Abraham*

i am in love
with soul and
i am the enemy
of false images

the spring is arriving
it is high time
for action
for the sun and Aries
to get together

my blood is boiling
my heart is on fire and
the winter snow
is melting away
from my body

someone's love
is knocking me out
and pulling me
after itself
very forcefully

though i am
in this
hell and fire
i'm filled with
honey and nectar

though i am
condemned to take
this journey
i'm filled with
the sweetness of going home

now the time has come
my sweetheart
kindly express
what my tongue
can never describe

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

Sunlight footnotes, courtesy of Ibrahim Gamard:

* temple of fire: a Zoroastrian fire temple. A symbol in sufi poetry for the
"Religion of Love (of God)," which burns up all worldly loves.

* Khalili Abraham: refers to the story about how the idolators threw the Prophet
Abraham into a pit of fire as a punishment for opposing their idolatry, but God
ordered the fire to be cool (Qur'an 21:68-69). In the Islamic tradition, the
Prophet Abraham is called the Friend of God (Khaleel Allah).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I am love's musician playing for joy
I comb the beard of happiness
and pull the moustache of sorrow.
When my core is touched by music
love's wine begins to flow.
In this temple of fire my blood
is melting the snow from my body.
It is spring, it is time for action,
It is time to throw away all false pretences.
Dragged and pulled in love, I bear all the pain.
Caught in this confusion, in this bitter sweetness
I am the captive of this journey.
It is the scent of home that keeps me going
the hope of union, the face of my Beloved.
I know our fate is separation, but until my last breath
I will search for my sweet love,
I will seek my home.

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




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