Wednesday, November 14, 2012

[Sunlight] Let's go home" -- Oce 2345


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 2345, in versions by Kabir
Helminski and Coleman Barks, and in translation by A.J.

Students of Rumi will want to take note of a substantial error
in the Arberry translation. Probably in the printing process, the
word "blind" was changed to "blond" in Arberry's presentation,
substantially changing the meaning of one line. Some subsequent
versioners, including the Helminskis, who have relied on Arberry's
classic books in developing their interpretations of Rumi's
ghazals, have perpetuated this error.


A House for the Naked

It's late and it's raining my friends;
let's go home. Let's leave these ruins
we've haunted like owls.
Even though these blonde beauties beckon,
let's go home. All the reasons offered
by the sensible, dull, and sorrowful
can't darken our hearts now;
nor can all this phantom love play,
this imaginary paradise hold us back.
Some see the grain but not the harvest.
Don't ask too many "how's" or "why's."
Let beasts graze.
Come home to the real celebration and music.
Shams has built a house for the naked and the pure.

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


Let's Go Home

Late and starting to rain, it's time to go home.
We've wandered long enough in empty buildings.
I know it's tempting to stay and meet those new people.
I know it's even more sensible
to spend the night here with them,
but I want to be home.

We've seen enough beautiful places with signs on them
saying "This Is God's House".
That's seeing the grain like the ants do,
without the work of harvesting.
Let's leave grazing to cows and go
where we know what everyone really intends,
where we can walk around without clothes on.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"Open Secret"
Threshold Books, 1984


As it is late and raining, to home, to home! Welcome, all
friends, to home! To home!
How long like owls banished about the ruins? To home, to
Bright-hearted companions, haste, despite all the blond ones,
to home, to home!
You reasonable, sober, full of sorrow, do not disturb our
hearts! To home, to home!
How long this loveplay with devil's forms, calling them
houris*? To home, to home!
You have seen the grain and not seen the harvest; even so
areants, to home, to home!
Make not how and why; friend, leave grazing to cattle, to
home, to home!
In that house is the concert of the circumcision feast, with the
ritually pure, to home, to home!
Shams-al-din-e Tabriz has built a home for the naked; to
home, to home.

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

*"houris" -- Beautiful virgin women who serve faithful Muslim men in
heaven, see e.g. Qu'ran 44.51-54. -- Sunlight Ed.




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