Thursday, September 20, 2012

[Sunlight] Seek Him in the placeless


Today, Sunlight offers Ghazal 900 from the Diwan, in a versionby Coleman Barks, and in translations by Annemarie Schimmel and by Reynold A. Nicholson.

As the Sky Does in Water

For the grace of the presence, be grateful.
Touch the cloth of the robe,
but do not pull it toward you,
or like an arrow it will leave the bow.

Images. Presence plays with form,
fleeing and hiding as the sky does in water,
now one place, now nowhere.

Imagination canot contain the absolute.
These poems are elusive
because the presence is.

I love the rose that is not a rose,
but the second I try to speak it, any name
for God becomes so-and-so and vanishes.

What you thought to draw lifts off the paper,
as what you love slips from your heart.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
Rumi: Bridge to the Soul
HarperCollins, 2007


Oh seize the hem of His favor,
for suddenly He will flee!
But do not draw Him like arrows,
for from the bow He will flee.
Look – all the shapes He assumes, and
what kind of tricks He plays!
In form He may well be present,
but from the soul He will flee.
You seek Him high in His heaven –
He shines like the moon in a lake,
But if you enter the water,
up to the sky He will flee.
You seek Him in Where-no-place is –
then he gives signs of His place:
But if you seek Him in places,
to Where-no-place He will flee.
As arrows fly from the bowstring
and like the bird of your thought . . .
You know for sure: from the doubting
the Absolute One will flee.
"I'll flee from this and from that, see –
but not out of weariness:
I fear that My beauty, so lovely,
from this and from that may well flee.
For like the wind I am flighty,
I love the rose, like the breeze,
But out of fear of the autumn,
you see, the rose too will flee!"
His name will flee when it sees you
intent on pronouncing it
So that you cannot tell others:
"Look here, such a person will flee!"

-- Translation by Annemarie Schimmel
Look! This Is Love
Shambhala, 1996


Grasp the skirt of his favor, for on a sudden he will flee;
But draw him not, as an arrow, for he will flee from the bow.
What delusive forms does he take, what tricks does he invent!
If he is present in form, he will flee by the way of spirit.
Seek him in the sky, he shines in water, like the moon;
When you come into the water, he will flee to the sky.
Seek him in the placeless, he will sign you to place;
When you seek him in place, he will flee to the placeless.
As the arrow speeds from the bow, like the bird of your imagination,
Know that the Absolute will certainly flee from the Imaginary.
I will flee from this and that, not for weariness, but for fear
That my gracious Beauty will flee from this and that.
As the wind I am fleet of foot, from love of the rose I am like the
The rose in dread of autumn will flee from the garden.
His name will flee, when it sees an attempt at speech,
So that you cannot even say, "Such an one will flee."
He will flee from you, so that if you limn his picture,
The picture will fly from the tablet, the impression will flee from
the soul.

-- Selected Poems from the Divani Shamsi Tabriz
Reynold A. Nicholson, editor
Curzon Press Ltd., 1999



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Archive for Sunlight can be accessed at: /messages
To subscribe, please send an email to :
To unsubscribe, please send an email to:
Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> Your email settings:
Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
(Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

No comments: