Thursday, August 15, 2013

[Sunlight] "I Am a Painter" – Ghazal 1462


Today Sunlight presents Ghazal (Ode) 1462 – in a
poetic version by Jonathan Star, a translation by
Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi, and a translation
by A.J. Arberry:


"I Am a Painter"

I am a painter,
Painting pictures all the time,
Yet when I set them near your beauty
I want to throw them all away.

I am a sculptor, carving images
and filling each with life,
Yet when I compare these with your beauty
I want to dump them in a fire.

O bringer of sweet wine,
Enemy of the sober,
You have laid waste to
every house I ever built!

My soul has merged with yours -
Water into water, wine into wine.
Now there is only love
and the scent of your rose perfume.

Every drop of my blood calls out,
"Dye me with the color of your love.
Make me the jewel of your affection."

In this house of water and clay
my heart is in ruins.
O Beloved, don't leave this house
else it will crumble to the ground.

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


I am a sculptor
I carve new shapes and forms each day
but when I see you they all melt.

I am a painter
I create images and bring them to life
but when I see you they all vanish.

Who are you my Friend
the promised lover or the deceitful enemy?
You ruin everything I build.
My soul has sprung from yours and
it carries the scent of your perfume.
But without you my heart is shattered,
please, come back or let me leave
this lonely world.

-- Rumi: Hidden Music
Translated by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001


I am a painter, a picture-maker, every moment I fashion an
idol, then before you I melt away all the idols,
I raise up a hundred images and mingle them with spirit;
when I see your image, I cast them in the fire.
You are the vintner's saki or the enemy of the sober, or the
one who lays waste every house I build.
Over you the soul is poured forth, with you it is mingled; since
the soul has the perfume of you, I will cherish the soul.
Every drop of blood that flows out of me says to your dust, "I
am one in colour with your love, I am the playmate of your affection."
In the house of water and clay this heart without you is
desolate; either enter the house, O soul, or I will abandon the

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




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