|"There is no angel so sublime, He wispered,|
Who can be granted for one moment
What is granted you forever.
And I hung my head, astounded.
My Heart, that dervish vagabond,
Poured me the wine of oblivion.
I stagger to the House of Wine
Dancing, dancing, dragging this old cloak.
How can you ever hope to know the Beloved
Without becoming in every cell the Lover?
And when you are the Lover at last, you don't care.
Whatever you know or don't - only Love is real.
If one drop of Divine Drunkenness fell
On the intellects of everyone in the world,
The world and its beings, free will, and obedience -
All, all, would vanish in a moment.
The sail of the ship of man's being is belief.
When there is a sail, the wind can carry him
To place after place of power and wonder.
No sail, all words are winds.
You say you have seen Him, but your eyes are two stones.
You say you have known Him, but nothing in you trembles.
You still say "I" when you speak of surviving His glory:
No one who has seen It has ever survived.
The real work of religion is permanent astonishment.
By that I don't mean in astonishment turning your back on Him -
I mean - blazing in blind ecstacy,
drowned in God and drunk on Love.
Choose the company of those withdrawn in love.
Listen to those who open the path to you;
listen, and don't say a word."
What was in that candle's light
that opened and consumed me so quickly?
Come back, my friend. The form of our love
is not a created form.
Nothing can help me but that beauty.
There was a dawn I remember
when my soul heard something from your soul.
I drank water from your spring
and felt the current take me.
|Listen, can you hear it?|
His bamboo flute speaks
the pure language of love.
The moon enlightens the trees,
the path, the sinuous Yamuna.
Oblivious of the jasmine’s scent
I stagger around,
disheveled heart bereft of modesty,
eyes wet with nerves and delight.
Tell me, dear friend, say it aloud:
is he not my own Dark Lord Syama?
Is it not my name his flute pours
into the empty evening?
For eons I longed for God,
I yearned to know him.
That’s why he has come to me now,
deep emerald Lord of my breath.
O Syama, whenever your faraway flute thrills
through the dark, I say your name,
only your name, and will my body to dissolve
in the luminous Yamuna.
Go to her, Lord, go now.
What’s stopping you?
The earth drowns in sleep.
Let’s go. I’ll walk with you.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
This poems tells of the anticipation of Lord Krsna’s arrival from Radha’s perspective, her senses tingling and listening for the flute he often plays to draw the young maidens to him. Radha’s friend calls to Lord Krisna to go to Radha and satisfy her.
Give yourself a kiss.
If you live in China, don’t look
somewhere else, in Tibet, or Mongolia.
If you want to hold the beautiful one,
hold yourself to yourself.
When you kiss the Beloved,
touch your own lips with your own fingers.
The beauty of every woman and every man
is your own beauty.
The confusion of your hair
obscures that sometimes.
An artist comes to paint you
and stands with his mouth open.
Your love reveals your beauty,
but all covering would disappear
if only for a moment your holding-back
would sit before your generosity
“Sir, who are you?”
Beloved's life-changing face
gives you a wink.
– Version by Coleman Barks
When you whirl,
your eye sees the room whirling, too.
If you sail in a ship over the sea,
it seems the seashore is running past.
If your heart is oppressed with struggle,
the whole atmosphere of the world feels tight;
but if you are happy as your friends would wish,
this world seems to be a garden of roses.
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
“Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance”
Threshold Books, 1996
|Let us fall in love again|
and scatter gold dust all over the world.
Let us become a new spring
and feel the breeze drift in the heavens’ scent.
Let us dress the earth in green,
and like the sap of a young tree
let the grace from within sustain us.
Let us carve gems out of our stony hearts
and let them light our path to Love.
The glance of Love is crystal clear
and we are blessed by its light.
– Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
“Rumi: Hidden Music”
|When I go from hence let this be my parting word,|
that what I have seen is unsurpassable.
I have tasted of the hidden honey of this lotus
that expands on the ocean of light,
and thus am I blessed--
Let this be my parting word.
In this playhouse of infinite forms
I have had my play and here have
I caught sight of him that is formless.
My whole body and my limbs have thrilled with his
touch who is beyond touch;
and if the end comes here, let it come--
Let this be my parting word.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
Tell me, O Love,
Who is more elegant,
You or this vast yours?
Shine, O moon,
You are an inspiration
to all who look upon the night sky.
Sour will turn to sweet,
Blasphemy will turn to truth,
Thorn bushes will turn to jonquil,
A hundred bodies will spring
with one breath of yours.
You place doors in the sky.
You place wings on .
You enchant every mind
and bewilder both worlds.
is sweet and rosy red,
how rosy red.
yours is the pleasure of this world
and the way to .
The threshed corn assumes your color;
All truth becomes one
under the stamping of your foot.
Every note of my song
longs to ring
with the sweetness of your voice.
Without you, the markets would be empty,
The gardens and the
would wash away in the rain.
You show trees how to sway .
You show wet how to weep.
The leaves and fruits get drunk
on your life-giving water.
If the vast gardens wished for one thing
During the eternal Spring
it would be for leaves, flying forever,
in this flower-wind of yours.
The lights of heaven and the moving planets
Think little of any star
that dares to shine
in this vast galaxy of yours.
O, what a promise you have made!
To serve joy instead of bread
to any soul who becomes a guest of yours. . . .
I went somewhere and I returned.
In a moment, as in a dream,
I was at the beginning and the end;
This elephant of a soul
saw the open plains of yours.
From all my plans I gained nothing.
In the end my heart broke its chains,
grabbed my soul,
and dragged it into your presence.
There I see no pettiness, no pain.
Every moment a enters,
born from the flowing compassion of yours.
O, the mountain looks small
beside your grandeur.
And the heart seems rude
beside your love . . .
You are holding every door wide open.
Doors in metal, in mountains, in stone!
Yet my heart crawls around like an ant
looking for its tiny hole.
I may sing till
Trying to describe your face
but I’ll always sound mute.
How can a person talk straight
when he is in love?
How can a person walk straight
when he is drowning
in this wine-filled ocean of yours?
– Ghazal 2138
Version by Jonathan Star, based on a translation by
“A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi”
Bantam Books, 1992