Friday, March 29, 2013

[Sunlight] Stack wood -- Ghazal 2043


Sunlight offers Ghazal 2043, in a version by Coleman Barks,
and a literal translation by A.J. Arberry:



Take January's advice. Stack wood.
Weather inevitably turns cold, and you

make fires to stay healthy. Study
the grand metaphor of this yearly work.

Wood is a symbol for absence. Fire
for your love of God. We burn form

to warm the soul. Soul loves winter
for that, and accepts reluctantly the

comfort of spring with its elegant,
proliferating gifts. All part of the

plan, fire becoming ash becoming
garden soil becoming mint, willow and

tulip. Love looks like fire. Feed
yourself into it. Be the fireplace and

the wood. Bravo, for this metallurgy
that makes a needle from an iron ingot.

Calm fire now, for the moth a window;
for you an armor of roses! Pharaoh

disolves like yogurt in water. Moses
comes to the top like oil. Fine Arabians

carry royalty. Nags, the sacks of dried
dung. Language is an annoying clatter

in the mill of meaning. A silent river
turns the millstone. The word-grains get

noisily dumped in the tray, pulverized
under the stone as gossip. Let this

poem be thus ground. Let me go
back to the lovefire that refines the

pure gold of my friend, Shamsuddin.

-- Version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin
"The Glance"
Viking-Penguin, 1999


Did you see what January said? Lay brushwood like a stock;
if December brought not cold, the cold of both be upon me.
Since the cold has become stubborn, lay brushwood on the
fire. Do you spare brushwood? Is brushwood better, or the body?
Brushwood is the fainting form, God's love is the fire: burn up
the forms, O pure-skirted soul!
Until you burn up the form, your spirit will be frozen, like
idol worshippers far from springtime and security.
In firelike love, be happy like silver; since you are a child of
Abraham, fire is your dwelling.*
By God's command, fire becomes for true men tulip and rose,
clusters of basil, willow and lily.
The believer knows the spell and recites it over the fire; the
heat remains in it no more, it remains shining as the moon.
Blessed be the spell through which peace befalls in a fire which
can transform iron into needle.
The moth flings itself upon the kindled fire because the fire
reveals itself lit in the shape of a window.
To Hamza arrow and spear appear as scattering roses; in a
scatter of roses no man clothes himself in armor.*
Pharaoh was dissolved in the water like whey; Moses got on
the brow of the horse like oil.
Horses of spirit are the carriers of princes; dull and sluggish
horses carry packs and dung.
Speech is like a hopper on the mill of meaning; the mill turns
by water, not by regulating the hopper.
From that hopper, my brother, the wheat leaps from the
bucket and falls in the mill and becomes well and truly ground.
So from that hopper of existence, out of the bucket of greed
and negligence, you fall into the mill, that is in a clearly ex-
pressed way.
My soul, I am becoming hot, but not from chatter; it is from
the golden Sun of the Faith, from whom Tabriz is like a mine.

-- Translation by A.J Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 2"
University of Chicago Press, 1968

* " is your dwelling." -- When Abraham was cast into the
fire, God said: "Oh fire, be thou cool, and a safety for Abraham."
Qur'an 21: 69
* "...clothes himself in armor." -- Hamza ebn Abd-al-Mottaleb, the
Prophet's uncle, was a dauntless warrior and called the "Lion of God"
by Mohammed.




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: