Thursday, June 16, 2011

[Sunlight] The Intellectual -- Ghazal 1957


Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 1957, in versions by Helminski
and Barks, and in translation by A.J. Arberry:


"The Intellectual"

The intellectual is always showing off;
the lover is always getting lost.
The intellectual runs away, afraid of drowning;
the whole business of love is to drown in the sea.
Intellectuals plan their repose;
lovers are ashamed to rest.
The lover is always alone, even surrounded with people;
like water and oil, he remains apart.
The man who goes to the trouble
of giving advice to a lover
gets nothing. He's mocked by passion.
Love is like musk. It attracts attention.
Love is a tree, and lovers are its shade.

-- Version by Kabir Helminski
"Love is a Stranger"
Threshold Books, 1993


An intellectual is all the time showing off.
Lovers dissolve and become bewildered.

Intellectuals try not to drown,
while the whole purpose of love
is drowning.
Intellectuals invent
ways to rest, and then lie down
in those beds.
Lovers feel ashamed
of comforting ideas.
Youve seen a glob
of oil on water? Thats how a lover
sits with intellectuals, there, but alone
in a circle of himself.
Some intellectual
tries to give sound advice to a lover.
All he hears back is, I love you.
I love you.
Love is musk. Dont deny it
when you smell the scent!
Love is a tree.
Lovers, the shade of the long branches.

To the intellectual mind, a child must learn
to grow up and be adult.
In the station of love,
you see old men getting younger and younger.

Shams chose to live low in the roots
for you. So now, he soars in the air
as your sublimely articulating love!

-- Version by Coleman Barks
(Developed from the translation by A. J. Arberry)
"Rumi: Like This"
Maypop, 1990


The intellectual is all the time engaged in showing off; the lover is all
the time becoming unselfed and distraught.
Intellectuals are running away, afraid of drowning; the whole business
and trade of love is drowning in the sea.
Intellectuals find repose by contriving repose; lovers think it a shame
to be attached to repose.
The lover will be in a circle, alone from everyone, just as oil and
water, though in the same place, are separate.
The man who goes to the trouble of offering advice to lovers gets nothing
for his pains but to be a mockery of passion.
Love has the scent of musk, it is therefore notorious; how can musk
escape such notoriety?
Love is like a tree, and lovers are the shade of that tree; though the
shade fall afar, yet it must attend the tree.
For the station of intellect a child must become an old man; in the
station of love you see an old man become youthful.
Shams-e Tabrizi, whoever has chosen to be lowly in love for you, thereby
rises to heights sublime as your love.

-- Translation by A.J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 2"
University of Chicago Press, 1979, 1991




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