Monday, February 06, 2012

[Sunlight] For lovers, advice is never useful -- Ghazal 532


Today, Sunlight presents Ghazal 532, in a poetic version from
Coleman Barks, and in literal translation from Ibrahim Gamard. Dr.
Gamard's translation is footnoted, and accompanied by a transliteration of the original Persian.


Each Note

Advice doesn't help lovers!
They're not the kind of mountain stream
you can build a dam across.

An intellectual doesn't know
what the drunk is feeling!

Don't try to figure
what those lost inside love
will do next!

Someone in charge would give up all his power,
if he caught one whiff of the wine-musk
from the room where the lovers
are doing who-knows-what!

One of them tries to dig a hole through a mountain.
One flees from academic honors.
One laughs at famous mustaches!

Life freezes if it doesn't get a taste
of this almond cake.
The stars come up spinning
every night, bewildered in love.
They'd grow tired
with that revolving, if they weren't.
They'd say,
"How long do we have to do this!"

God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.
Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it's enough.

Go up on the roof at night
in this city of the soul.

Let everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!

Sing loud!

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


For lovers, advice (from) anyone is never useful, (because) this
[love of theirs] is not like a flood which someone can block up.
An intellectual can never know the savor* (in) the mind of the
(mystic) "drunkard,"* (and) a sensible person can never know the
"senseless" state* of (such a) heart.
If kings were to catch a scent of those "wines" which lovers drink
during the meetings of hearts, they would become fed-up with
For the sake of (the beautiful) Sheereen, (King) Khosraw said
farewell to his kingdom, (and) Farhad* pounded a mountain with a
pick-ax for her sake as well.
From love of (his beloved) Layla, (the crazed lover) Majnoon*
fled the circle of intellectuals, (and the lover) Wamiq laughed at the
foolish pride* of every arrogant one.
That life (is) frozen which has passed without that sweet spirit [of
warm love]. (And) that brain (is) rotten which is ignorant of these
compliments* (of love).
If the sky were not bewildered and a lover like us, it would
become weary of revolving, (and) it would say, "It's enough for me!
How (much) longer?"
The world (is) like a reed-pipe, and He blows into its every hole;
every wail it has (is) certainly from those two lips like sugar.
See how He blows into every (piece of) clay* (and) into every
heart; He gives a need and He gives a love which raises up a lament
about misfortune.*
If you uproot the heart from God, tell (me) with whom will you
place it? Anyone who is able to tear (his) heart from Him for a
moment is without a soul!*
I'm stopping (now). Be nimble, and go up on top of the roof at
night. Make a happy uproar in the city with a loud voice, O soul!

-- From The Dîwân-é Kabîr (also known as "Kulliyat-é Shams" and
"Dîwân-é Shams-é Tabrîz") of Jalaluddin Rumi.
Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard, 10/24/98;
revised 1/3/00 (c)
Footnotes and transliteration (c) Ibrahim Gamard

*savor [Zawq]: a technical term in sufism meaning the "taste" of
mystical experience, often of a quality which cannot be described in
words. Therefore it includes subtle spiritual perception, mystical
feeling, and spiritual enjoyment. Related to the meaning in this line is
the Arabic saying, "He who does not taste, does not know" (man
lam yaZuq lam yadrî-- quoted in Nicholson's Commentary to
Mathnawi V:2145).
*in the mind of the (mystic) "drunkard": literally, "in the head of the
head-drunk one." The words "drunkards," "drunkenness," and
"wine" in Persian sufi poetry refer to ecstatic mystics, ecstatic
mystical states, and spiritual energy (alcoholic beverages are
strictly forbidden in Islam).
*the "senseless" state: may also be translated as "un-sensible
ecstasy" and is a play on "sensible" (which means "wary,"
"prudent," "cautious," as well as "understanding" ). The word
translated as "state" [Hâl] is a technical term in sufism referring to
spiritual-mystical states, and often means spiritual ecstasy and
rapture. This line is similar to one of the famous opening verses of
Rumi's Mathnawi, I:14: "There is no confidant (of) this
understanding [hôsh] except the senseless [bê-hôsh]! There is no
purchaser of that tongue except the ear [of the mystic]."
*In Persian legend, the hero Farhad dug through a mountain to reach
the beautiful woman he loved, Sheereen-- who was also loved by
King Khosraw.
*Manjoon: literally, "jinn-possessed," "insane." A famous lover
whose love for the beautiful Layla (also pronounced in Persian as
"Laylee") drove him crazy and to act in extreme ways.
*laughed at the foolish pride: literally, "beard-ridiculed the
moustache." An idiom meaning making fun of someone's proud
*these compliments: literally, the whey of cheese, churned into a
certain consistency. An idiom meaning amorous flattery and praise
(Faruzanfar, "Glossary," p. 425), and here meaning the flirtatious
and adoring compliments enjoyed by lovers. The word translated as
"brain," also means the kernel of a nut.
*into every (piece of) clay: refers to the creation of Adam from clay,
and how God breathed into him of His spirit (Qur'ân 15:29).
*a lament about misfortune: similar to the famous opening lines of
Rumi's Mathnawi: "Listen to this reed-flute, how it complains; it is
telling a story about separations,/ Saying: "Ever since I was torn
from the reed field, man and woman have lamented in (hearing) my
shrill cry." (I:1-2)
*without a soul: also means, "without life"-- because he has no


mar `âshiq-ân-râ pand-é kas hargez na-bâsh-ad sûd-mand
nay ân-chon-ân sayl-ast în ke-sh kas tawân-ad kard band

Zawq-é sar-é sar-mast-râ hargez na-dân-ad `âqilê
Hâl-é del-é bê-hôsh-râ hargez na-dân-ad hôsh-mand

khosraw Wadâ`-é mulk-é khwad az bahr-é shîrîn mê-kon-ad
farhâd ham az bahr-é ô bar kôh mê-kôb-ad kaland

majnûn ze-Halqa-yé `âqil-ân az `ishq-é laylà mê-ram-ad
bar sablat-é har sar-kashê kard-ast wâmiq rêsh-khand

afsorda ân `umrê! ke ân be-g'Zasht bê-ân jân-é khwash
ay ganda ân maghzê! ke ân ghâfil bow-ad z-în lôr-é kand

în âsmân gar nîst-y sar-gashta-wo `âshiq-é chô mâ
z-în gardesh ô sêr âmad-y goft-y: bas-ast-am chand chand

`âlam chô sornâyê-wo ô dar har shekâf-ash mê-deh-ad
har nâla-yê dâr-ad yaqîn z-ân dô lab-é chûn qand, qand

mê-bîn ke-chûn dar mê-dam-ad dar har gelê, dar har delê
Hâjat deh-ad `ishqê deh-ad k-afghân bar âr-ad az gozand

del-râ ze-Haq gar bar kan-î bar key neh-î âkhir be-gô
bê-jân kasê! ke del az-ô yak laHZa bar tânest kand

man bas kon-am, tô chost shaw, shab bar sar-é în bâm raw
khwash gholgholê dar shahr zan ay jân ba-âwâz-é boland

(meter: XXoXoXoX XXoXoXoX/XXX)




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