Monday, 23 September 2013

I wish I knew what you Rumi

I wish I knew what you wanted. 
You block the road and won't give me rest. 

You pull my lead-rope one way, then the other. 
You act cold, my darling! 
Do you hear what I say? 

Will this night of talking ever end ?
Why am I still embarrassed and timid
about you? You are thousands.
You are one.
Quiet, but most articulate.

Your name is Spring.
Your name is wine.
Your name is the nausea
that comes from wine!

You are my doubting
and the lightpoints
in my eyes.

You are every image, and yet
I'm homesick for you.

Can I get there?
Where the deer pounces on the lion,
where the one I'm after's
after me ?

This drum and these words keep pounding !
Let them both smash through their coverings
into silence.

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode)1837,
from Rumi's "Diwan-e Shams"
("The Collection of Shams")
Version by Coleman Barks,
from a translation by A.J. Arberry
"Like This"
Maypop, 1990

1 comment:

  1. Lord, would that I knew what is the desire of my Beloved;
    He has barred my road of escape,
    robbed me of my heart and my repose.

    Lord, would that I knew whither He is dragging me,
    to what purpose He is dragging my toggle in every direction.

    Lord, would that I knew why He is stonyhearted,
    that loving King of mine, my long-suffering Darling.

    Lord, would that I knew whether my sighing and my clamor,
    "My Lord and my defense!" – will reach my Beloved at all.

    Lord, would that I knew where this will end;
    Lord, this my night of writing is very long.

    Lord, what is this ferment of mine,
    all this bashfulness of mine? –
    Seeing that you are mine,
    you are at once my one and my thousand.

    Your love is always both silent and eloquent
    before the image of my eye, my sustenance and my fate!

    Now I call him quarry, now I call him spring,
    now I nickname him wine, now my crop sickness.

    He is my unbelief and faith, my light-beholding eye,
    that of mine and this of mine – I cannot escape from him.

    No more patience has remained for me, nor sleep, nor tears
    nor wrath; Lord, how long will he raid all the four of mine?

    Where is the house of water and clay,
    compared with that of soul and heart?

    Lord, my sole desire has become my hometown
    and habitation*.
    This heart is banished from the town, stuck in dark mire,
    lamenting, "O God, where is my family and retinue?"

    Lord, if only I might reach my city and behold the companion
    of my Palace, and all that city of my friend!

    Gone then my hard road, the heavy load from my back; my
    long-suffering Darling would come, carrying off my load.

    My lion-catching deer would drink to the full of my milk, he
    whose quarry I am would have become my quarry.

    Black-faced night is then not the mate and consort of my day;
    stonyhearted autumn follows not in the wake of my springtide.

    Will you not be silent? How long will you beat this drum?
    Alas, my veiled lip, that you have become veil-rending!

    -- Translation by A. J. Arberry
    "Mystical Poems of Rumi 2"
    The University of Chicago Press, 1991

    *"The house of water and clay" symbolizes the human body where
    the soul, coming from a spiritual land, must sojourn and the
    original abode back to which it wishes to fly.