Monday, August 13, 2012

[Sunlight] Empty Boat -- Ghazal 622


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal 622, from Rumi's Diwan-e Shams, in 
a version by Coleman Barks, and in a translation by A.J. Arberry:


Empty Boat

Some huge work goes on growing. How

could one person's words matter? Where

you walk, heads pop from the ground. What

is one seed head compared to yours? On

my death day I'll know the answer. I have

cleared this house, so that your work can,

when it comes, fill every room. I slide

like an empty boat pulled over water.

-- Version by Coleman Barks

"The Soul of Rumi"

HarperCollins, 2001


Every moment the Soul is decaying and growing before 

you, and how should any man plead with you for the sake of a 

single soul?

Wherever you set your foot a head springs from the earth; 

for one head's sake how should anyone wash his hands of you?

On the day when the soul takes flight in joy at your scent, 

the soul knows, the soul knows, what scent wafts from the 


Once your crop-sickness diminishes from the brain, the 

head raises a hundred laments, every hair is groaning.

I have emptied house, that I may be filled with your furni-
ture; I am waning, that your love may wax and increase.

My soul in the train of Shams al-Haqq-i Tabrizi is scudding 

like a ship without feet over the sea.

-- Translation by A.J. Arberry

"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"

The University of Chicago Press 1968/1991




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