Friday, January 06, 2012

[Sunlight] A heart which wine cannot console -- Ghazal 2266


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal 2266, in a version by Coleman
Barks, and in the translation by A.J. Arberry, upon which Barks based
his version:


Circulate the cup and take me out of
who I am and what I've done,
my name and my shame.

You Who Pour the wine, keep after me.
Trick me! When I have none of Your joy,
I worry about everything. Lay your traps.

I should fast. Someone who fasts
visits the Friend at night.

But often I come in the front door,
and You fly through the roof!
Be more patient!

Muslims, what is there to do?
I'm burning up and yet unsatisfied.

There's no cure but the taste
of what the saints pass around.

The story of Lovers has no end,
so well be happy with this,
just this, Goodbye.

And the answer to Mutanabbi's riddle is,
"Someone whom no wine consoles."

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"Like This"
Maypop, 1990


Saqi of the moonface, circulate the cup, deliver me out of
shame and name.
Saqi, I am a prisoner in your snare, for you have laid at every step a snare.
Have done with sloth, seize me! Be not slothful, for the tribe has departed.
Is not sobriety the alighting-place of every care? Is not joy
banned in anxiety?
Fast, for fasting is great gain; the faster drinks the wine of the spirit.*
It is in tradition that whoever keeps the fast sees the moon of God in the evening time.*
It is not just that when I enter by the door, you should flee
from me by the roof:
You flee and I crying after you, "Be patient one moment, O
fleet of pace!"
Muslims, Muslims, what remedy is there? For I am consumed
with fire, and yet this business is unsettled.
There is no remedy but pure wine in cups which noble men
have circulated.
The tale of lovers has no end, so we will be satisfied with this, and so farewell!
The answer of Motanabbi's saying is this: "A heart which
wine cannot console.*"

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

* "Fast, for fasting...." -- The reference might be to the hadith
which says: "Fasting in the winter is a gain in the cold." See Ebn Asir, al-Nahaya fi garib al-hadis wa al-asar, 3:390.
* "It is in tradition..." -- I could not find this particular tradition, but there are a number of hadiths which bear resemblance to this. Two of them are: "Fast when you see the moon and break your fast when you see it again," and "Then fast until you see the crescent of the moon." See A. J. Wensinck, "Concordance et indices de la tradition musulmane," Leiden, 1955, 3: 454.
* "The answer of Motanabbi's" -- See Motanabbi, "Divan," Beirut,
1964, 101.




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