Wednesday, October 10, 2007

[Sunlight] "Don't plant anything but love" -- Ghazal 916


Today, Sunlight offers Ghazal (Ode) 916, from Rumi's "Diwan-e
Shams", in a recent translation by Kolin and Mafi, and in a version
by Arberry:


When you plant a tree
every leaf that grows will tell you,
what you sow will bear fruit.
So if you have any sense, my friend
don't plant anything but love,
you show your worth by what you seek.
Water flows to those who want purity
wash you hands of all desires and
come to the table of Love.

Do you want me to tell you a secret?
The flowers attract the most beautiful lover
with their sweet smile and scent.
If you let God weave the verse in your poem
people will read it forever.

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Every Tree

Every tree, every growing thing as it
grows, says this truth: You harvest

what you sow. With life a short as a half-
taken breath, don't plant anything but

love. The value of a human being can
be measured by what he or she most deeply

wants. Be free of possessing things.
Sit at an empty table. Be pleased with

water, the taste of being home. People
travel the world looking for the Friend,

but that one is always at home! Jesus
moves quickly to Mary. A donkey stops

to smell the urine of another donkey.
There are simple reasons for what happens:

you won't stay clear for long if you sit
with the one who pours wine. Someone

with a cup of honey in hand rarely has
a sour face. If someone says a eulogy,

there must be a funeral nearby. A rose
opens because she is the fragrance she

loves. We speak poems, and lovers down
the centuries will keep saying them.

The cloth God weaves doesn't wear out.

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



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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, each translation has its own beauty, though the first one is so succinct and lovely that it speaks directly to the heart. Thank you.

Ya Haqq!