Tuesday, May 21, 2013

[Sunlight] "Willing Slaves” -- Ghazal 1077


Here, Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 1077, in a poetic version
by Jonathan Star and a literal translation by A.J. Arberry:


"Willing Slaves"

From deep within my heart
I always catch
the scent of my Beloved.
How can I help but
follow that fragrance?

Last night I was walking through Love's garden
where a glimmer of my soul
became a teeming river of light!
Laughing roses sprang up along the banks.
Dazzling waters rolled past the thorns of being
with speed enough to elude the sword of death.
Every tree and blade of grass danced in the meadow.
But to an eye without this vision,
all seemed plain and ordinary.
Suddenly a great cypress shot up from the ground!
The whole garden roared with delight -
the jamines exploded,
the broad-leafed trees clapped their hands.

A face of fire,
A cup of fire,
A heart of fire -
all were blazing with joy.
Surrounded by flames, my soul called out,
"O God, where shall I run?"

In the world of Oneness
there is nothing but yourself,
there is no room for counting.
But in the world of things
there is so much counting.
You may count a thousand apples in your hand -
If you want them all to be one,
make applesauce.
You may count a thousand grapes in your hand -
If you want the precious wine
crush them all together.

The message behind the words
is the voice of the heart.
The source of all activity
is that utter stillness.

Now Shams-e Tabriz is in the royal seat
and all my rhymes
have lined up like willing slaves.

-- Version by Jonathan Star
"Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved "
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997


Each moment I catch from my bosom the scent of the Be-
loved; how should I not take my self every night into my bosom?
Last night I was in Love's garden; that desire ran into my
head; his sun peeped out of my eye, so that the river began to
Every laughing rose that springs from the bank of that river of
love had escaped from the thorn of being and eluded Dhu 'I-Faqar;*
Every tree and grass was a-dancing in the meadow, but in the
eye of the vulgar was bound and at rest.
Suddenly from one side our Cypress appeared, so that the
garden was beside itself and the plane-tree clapped its hands.
Face like fire, wine like fire, love afire--all three delightful;
soul because of the intermingled fires lamenting, "Whither shall
I flee?"
In the world of Divine Unity there is no room for number, but
number exists of necessity in the world of five and four.*
You may count a myriad sweet apples in your hand; if you
want to make one, squeeze them all together.
A myriad grapes went forth from the veil of skin; when skin
no more remained, there remained the wine of the Prince.
Without counting the letters, behold what is this speech of the
heart; unicolority-is it not a form derived from the root* of the
Shams-i Tabrizi is seated like a king, and before him my verses
are ranged like willing slaves.

-- Translation by A. J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"
The University of Chicago Press, 1968

* Dhu 'l-Faqar: Ali's sword, symbolizing death.
* The five senses and the four elements.
* "The Root": God, the source of all being.




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