Rumi: Poems of Passion

LOVE IS THE MASTER

Love is the One who masters all things;
I am mastered totally by Love.
By my passion of love for Love
I have ground sweet as sugar.
O furious Wind, I am only a straw before you;
How could I know where I will be blown next?
Whoever claims to have made a pact with Destiny
Reveals himself a liar and a fool;
What is any of us but a straw in a storm?
How could anyone make a pact with a hurricane?
God is working everywhere his massive Resurrection;
How can we pretend to act on our own?
In the hand of Love I am like a cat in a sack;
Sometimes Love hoists me into the air,
Sometimes Love flings me into the air,
Love swings me round and round His head;
I have no peace, in this world or any other.
The lovers of God have fallen in a furious river;
They have surrendered themselves to Love's commands.
Like mill wheels they turn, day and night, day and night,
Constantly turning and turning, and crying out.


STAY CLOSE, MY HEART

Stay close, my heart, to the one who knows your ways;
Come into the shade of the tree that allays has fresh flowers.
Don't stroll idly through the bazaar of the perfume-markers:
Stay in the shop of the sugar-seller.
If you don't find true balance, anyone can deceive you;
Anyone can trick out of a thing of straw,
And make you take it for gold
Don't squat with a bowl before every boiling pot;
In each pot on the fire you find very different things.
Not all sugarcanes have sugar, not all abysses a peak;
Not all eyes possess vision, not every sea is full of pearls.
O nightingale, with your voice of dark honey! Go on lamenting!
Only your drunken ecstasy can pierce the rock's hard heart!
Surrender yourself, and if you cannot be welcomes by the Friend,
Know that you are rebelling inwardly like a thread
That doesn't want to go through the needle's eye!
The awakened heart is a lamp; protect it by the him of your robe!
Hurry and get out of this wind, for the weather is bad.
And when you've left this storm, you will come to a fountain;
You'll find a Friend there who will always nourish your soul.
And with your soul always green, you'll grow into a tall tree
Flowering always with sweet light-fruit, whose growth is interior.

(translated by Andrew Harvey)

THE INTEREST WITHOUT THE CAPITAL

The lover's food is the love of the bread;
no bread need be at hand:
no one who is sincere in his love is a slave to existence.

Lovers have nothing to do with existence;
lovers have the interest without the capital.

Without wings they fly around the world;
without hands they carry the polo ball off the field.

That dervish who caught the scent of Reality
used to weave basket even though his hand had been cut off.

Lover have pitched their tents in nonexistence:
they are of one quality and one essence, as nonexistence is.

Mathnawi III, 3020-3024

THE SHIP SUNK IN LOVE

Should Love's heart rejoice unless I burn?
For my heart is Love's dwelling.
If You will burn Your house, burn it, Love!
Who will say, 'It's not allowed'?
Burn this house thoroughly!
The lover's house improves with fire.
From now on I will make burning my aim,
From now on I will make burning my aim,
for I am like the candle: burning only makes me brighter.
Abandon sleep tonight; traverse fro one night
the region of the sleepless.
Look upon these lovers who have become distraught
and like moths have died in union with the One Beloved.
Look upon this ship of God's creatures
and see how it is sunk in Love.

Mathnawi VI, 617-623
The Rumi Collection , Edited by Kabir Helminski

Oh Beloved,
take me.
Liberate my soul.
Fill me with your love and
release me from the two worlds.
If I set my heart on anything but you
let fire burn me from inside.

Oh Beloved,
take away what I want.
Take away what I do.
Take away what I need.
Take away everything
that takes me from you.


CRADLE MY HEART


Last night,
I was lying on the rooftop,
thinking of you.
I saw a special Star,
and summoned her to take you a message.
I prostrated myself to the Star
and asked her to take my prostration
to that Sun of Tabriz.
So that with his light, he can turn
my dark stones into gold.
I opened my chest and showed her my scars,
I told her to bring me news
of my bloodthirsty Lover.
As I waited,
I paced back and forth,
until the child of my heart became quiet.
The child slept, as if I were rocking his cradle.
Oh Beloved, give milk to the infant of the heart,
and don't hold us from our turning.
You have cared for hundreds,
don't let it stop with me now.
At the end, the town of unity is the place for the heart.
Why do you keep this bewildered heart
in the town of dissolution?
I have gone speechless, but to rid myself
of this dry mood,
oh Saaqhi, pass the narcissus of the wine.


Hush Don't Say Anything to God:
Passionate Poems of Rumi
Translated by Shahram Shiva

THE AWAKENING

In the early dawn of happiness
you gave me three kisses
so that I would wake up
to this moment of love

I tried to remember in my heart
what I'd dreamt about
during the night
before I became aware
of this moving
of life

I found my dreams
but the moon took me away
It lifted me up to the firmament
and suspended me there
I saw how my heart had fallen
on your path
singing a song

Between my love and my heart
things were happening which
slowly slowly
made me recall everything

You amuse me with your touch
although I can't see your hands.
You have kissed me with tenderness
although I haven't seen your lips
You are hidden from me.

But it is you who keeps me alive

Perhaps the time will come
when you will tire of kisses
I shall be happy
even for insults from you
I only ask that you
keep some attention on me.

The Love Poems of Rumi by
Deepak Chopra (Editor)


Tonight is a night of union for the stars and of scattering,
scattering, since a bride is coming from the skies, consisting of a full moon.
Venus cannot contain herself for charming melodies, like the
nightingale which becomes intoxicated with the rose in spring-time.
See how the polestar is ogling Leo;
behold what dust Pisces is stirring up from the deep!
Jupiter has galloped his steed against ancient Saturn, saying
"Take back your youth and go, bring good tidings!"
Mars' hand, which was full of blood from the handle of his
sword, has become as life-giving as the sun, the exalted in works.
Since Aquarius has come full of that water of life, the dry
cluster of Virgo is raining pearls from him.
The Pleiades full of goodness fears not Libra and being
broken; how should Aries flee away in fright from its mother?
When from the moon the arrow of a glance struck the heart
of Sagittarius, he took to night-faring in passion for her, like Scorpio.
On such a festival, go, sacrifice Taurus, else you are crooked of
gait in the mud like Cancer.
This sky is the astrolabe, and the reality is Love;
whatever we say of this, attend to the meaning.
Shamsi-Tabriz, on that dawn when you shine, the dark night
is transformed to bright day by your moonlike face.


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

AFTER BEING IN LOVE, THE NEXT RESPONSIBILITY

Turn me like a waterwheel turning a millstone.
Plenty of water, a Living River.
Keep me in one place and scatter the love.
Leaf-moves in wind, straw drawn toward amber,
all parts of the world are in love,
but they do not tell their secrets. Cows grazing
on a sacramental table, ants whispering in Solomon's ear.
Mountains mumbling an echo. Sky, calm.
If the sun were not in love, he would have no brightness,
the side of the hill no grass on it.
The ocean would come to rest somewhere.

Be a lover as they are, that you come to know
you Beloved. Be faithful that you may know
Faith. The other parts of the universe did not accept
the next responsibility of love as you can.
They were afraid they might make a mistake
with it, the inspired knowing
that springs from being in love

FURUZANFAR #2674 (translated by Coleman Barks)
The Rumi Collection , edited by Kabir Helminski

That moon, which the sky ne'er saw even in dreams, has returned
And brought a fire no water can quench.
See the body' s house, and see my. soul,
This made drunken and that desolate by the cup of his love.
When the host of the tavern became my heart-mate,
My blood turned to wine and my heart to kabab.
When the eye is filled with thought of him, a voice arrives :
W ell done, O flagon, and bravo, wine!
Love's fingers tear up, root and stem,
Every house where sunbeams fall from love.
When my heart saw love's sea, of a sudden
It left me and leaped in, crying, , Find me.'
The face of Shamsi Din, Tabriz's glory, is the sun
In whose track the cloud-like hearts are moving.

From Divan-i Shams
translated by R. A. Nicholson

THROUGH LOVE all that is bitter will sweet
Through Love all that is copper will be gold.
Through Love all dregs will turn to purest wine
Through Love all pain will turn to medicine.
Through Love the dead will all become alive.
Through Love the king will turn into a slave!

ONCE a beloved asked her lover: "Friend,
You have seen many places in the world!
Now - which of all these cities was the best?
He said: "The city where my sweetheart lives!"

FROM MYSELF I am copper,
through You, friend, I am gold.
From myself I'm a stone, but
through You I am a gem!

O SUN, fill our house once more with light!
Make happy all your friends and blind your foes!
Rise from behind the hill, transform the stones
To rubies and the sour grapes to wine!
O Sun, make our vineyard fresh again,
And fill the steppes with houris and green cloaks!
Physician of the lovers, heaven's lamp!
Rescues the lovers! Help the suffering!
Show but your face - the world is filled with light!
But if you cover it, it's the darkest night!

HOW SHOULD THE SOUL not take wings
when from the Glory of God
It hears a sweet, kindly call:
"Why are you here, soul? Arise!"
How should a fish not leap fast
into the sea form dry land
When from the ocean so cool
the sound of the waves reaches its
How should the falcon not fly
back to his king from the hunt
When from the falconer's drum
it hears to call: "Oh, come back"?
Why should not every Sufi
begin to dance atom-like
Around the Sun of duration
that saves from impermanence?
What graciousness and what beauty?
What life-bestowing! What grace!
If anyone does without that, woe-
what err, what suffering!
Oh fly , of fly, O my soul-bird,
fly to your primordial home!
You have escaped from the cage now-
your wings are spread in the air.
Oh travel from brackish water
now to the fountain of life!
Return from the place of the sandals
now to the high seat of souls!
Go on! Go on! we are going,
and we are coming, O soul,
From this world of separation
to union, a world beyond worlds!
How long shall we here in the dust-world
like children fill our skirts
With earth and with stones without value,
with broken shards without worth?
Let's take our hand from the dust grove,
let's fly to the heavens' high,
Let's fly from our childish behaviour
and join the banquet of men!
Call out, O soul, to proclaim now
that you are rules and king!
You have the grace of the answer,
you know the question as well!

Translated by Annemarie Schimmel, 'Look! This is Love'

WHISPERS OF LOVE

Lover whispers to my ear,
"Better to be a prey than a hunter.
Make yourself My fool.
Stop trying to be the sun and become a speck!
Dwell at My door and be homeless.
Don't pretend to be a candle, be a moth,
so you may taste the savor of Life
and know the power hidden in serving."

Mathnawi V. 411-414 (translated by Kabir Helminski)
The Rumi Collection , Edited by Kabir Helminski

how long
can i lament
with this depressed
heart and soul

how long
can i remain
a sad autumn
ever since my grief
has shed my leaves

the entire space
of my soul
is burning in agony

how long can i
hide the flames
wanting to rise
out of this fire

how long can one suffer
the pain of hatred
of another human
a friend behaving like an enemy

with a broken heart
how much more
can i take the message
from body to soul

i believe in love
i swear by love
believe me my love

how long
like a prisoner of grief
can i beg for mercy

you know i'm not
a piece of rock or steel
but hearing my story
even water will become
as tense as a stone

if i can only recount
the story of my life
right out of my body
flames will grow

rocking and rolling
what have you been drinking
please let me know

you must be drunk
going house to house
wandering from street to street

who have you been with
who have you kissed
who's face have you been fondling

you are my soul
you are my life
i swear my life and love is yours

so tell me the truth
where is that fountainhead
the one you've been drinking from

don't hide this secret
lead me to the source
fill my jug over and over again

last night i finally caught
your attention in the crowd
it was your image filling my dream

telling me to stop this wandering
stop this search for
good and evil

i said my dear prophet
give me some of
that you've drunk for ecstasy of life

if i let you drink you said
any of this burning flame
it will scorch your mouth and throat

your portion has been
given already by heaven
ask for more at your peril

i lamented and begged
i desire much more
please show me the source

i have no fear
to burn my mouth and throat
i'm ready to drink every flame and more

show me your face
i crave
flowers and gardens
open your lips
i crave
the taste of honey
come out from
behind the clouds
i desire a sunny face
your voice echoed
saying "leave me alone"
i wish to hear your voice
again saying "leave me alone"
i swear this city without you
is a prison
i am dying to get out
to roam in deserts and mountains
i am tired of
flimsy friends and
submissive companions
i die to walk with the brave
am blue hearing
nagging voices and meek cries
i desire loud music
drunken parties and
wild dance
one hand holding
a cup of wine
one hand caressing your hair
then dancing in orbital circle
that is what i yearn for
i can sing better than any nightingale
but because of
this city's freaks
i seal my lips
while my heart weeps
yesterday the wisest man
holding a lit lantern
in daylight
was searching around town saying
i am tired of
all these beasts and brutes
i seek
a true human
we have all looked
for one but
no one could be found
they said
yes he replied
but my search is
for the one
who cannot be found

Translated by Nader Khalili
" Rumi, Fountain of Fire "

THE ALCHEMY OF LOVE

You come to us
from another world

From beyond the stars
and void of space.
Transcendent, Pure,
Of unimaginable beauty,
Bringing with you
the essence of love

You transform all
who are touched by you.
Mundane concerns,
troubles, and sorrows
dissolve in your presence,
Bringing joy
to ruler and ruled
To peasant and king

You bewilder us
with your grace.
All evils
transform into
goodness.

You are the master alchemist.

You light the fire of love
in earth and sky
in heart and soul
of every being.

Through your love
existence and nonexistence merge.
All opposites unite.
All that is profane
becomes sacred again.

LOOKING FOR LOVE

A strange passion is moving in my head.
My heart has become a bird
which searches in the sky.
Every part of me goes in different directions.
Is it really so
that the one I love is everywhere?

LOOKING FOR YOUR FACE

From the beginning of my life
I have been looking for your face
but today I have seen it

Today I have seen
the charm, the beauty,
the unfathomable grace
of the face
that I was looking for

Today I have found you
and those who laughed
and scorned me yesterday
are sorry that they were not looking
as I did

I am bewildered by the magnificence
of your beauty
and wish to see you
with a hundred eyes

My heart has burned with passion
and has searched forever
for this wondrous beauty
that I now behold

I am ashamed
to call this love human
and afraid of God
to call it divine

Your fragrant breath
like the morning breeze
has come to the stillness of the garden
You have breathed new life into me
I have become your sunshine
and also your shadow

My soul is screaming in ecstasy
Every fiber of my being
is in love with you

Your effulgence
has lit a fire in my heart
for me
the earth and sky

My arrow of love
has arrived at the target
I am in the house of mercy
and my heart
is a place of prayer

The Love Poems of RUMI
Edited by Deepak Chopra
Translations by Farsi scholar Fereydoun Kia


Reason says, I will beguile him with the tongue;" Love says, "Be silent. I will beguile him with the soul."
The soul says to the heart, "Go, do not laugh at me and yourself. What is there that is not his, that I may
beguile him thereby?"
He is not sorrowful and anxious and seeking oblivion that I may beguile him with wine and a heavy measure.
The arrow of his glance needs not a bow that I should beguile the shaft of his gaze with a bow.
He is not prisoner of the world, fettered to this world of earth, that I should beguile him with gold of the
kingdom of the world.
He is an angel, though in form he is a man; he is not lustful that I should beguile him with women.
Angels start away from the house wherein this form is, so how should I beguile him with such a form and
likeness?
He does not take a flock of horses, since he flies on wings; his food is light, so how should I beguile him with bread?
He is not a merchant and trafficker in the market of the world that I should beguile him with enchantment of gain and loss.
He is not veiled that I should make myself out sick and utter sighs, to beguile him with lamentation.
I will bind my head and bow my head, for I have got out of hand; I will not beguile his compassion with sickness or fluttering.
Hair by hair he sees my crookedness and feigning; what's hidden from him that I should beguile him with anything hidden.
He is not a seeker of fame, a prince addicted to poets, that I should beguile him with verses and lyrics and flowing poetry.
The glory of the unseen form is too great for me to beguile it with blessing or Paradise.
Shams-e Tabriz, who is his chosen and beloved perchance I will beguile him with this same pole of the age.

I saw my sweetheart wandering about the house; he had taken a rebec and was playing a melody.
With a plectrum like fire he was playing a sweet melody, drunken and dissolute and charming from the Magian wine.
He was invoking the saqi in the air of Iraq 1 The air of Iraq is a Persian tune. ; the wine was his object, the saqi was his excuse.
The moonfaced saqi pitcher in his hand, entered from a corner and set it in the middle.
He filled the first cup with that flaming wine; did you ever see water sending out flames?
He set it on his hand for the sake of the lovers, then prostrated and kissed the threshold.
My sweetheart seized it from him and quaffed the wine; flames from that wine went running over his face.
He was beholding his own beauty, and saying to the evil eye, "Never has there been, nor shall there come in this age, another like me."

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

 

 

Life & Death
{
look at love
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love
look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life
why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend
why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how the unknown merges into the known
why think separately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last
look at your heart and tongue
one feels but deaf and dumb
the other speaks in words and signs
look at water and fire
earth and wind
enemies and friends all at once
the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together
look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox
you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me
be like sugarcane
sweet yet silent
don't get mixed up with bitter words
my beloved grows
right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be
{
come on sweetheart
let's adore one another
before there is no more
of you and me
a mirror tells the truth
look at your grim face
brighten up and cast away
your bitter smile
a generous friend
gives life for a friend
let's rise above this
animalistic behavior
and be kind to one another
spite darkens friendships
why not cast away
malice from our heart
once you think of me
dead and gone
you will make up with me
you will miss me
you may even adore me
why be a worshiper of the dead
think of me as a goner
come and make up now
since you will come
and throw kisses
at my tombstone later
why not give them to me now
this is me
that same person
i may talk too much
but my heart is silence
what else can i do
i am condemned to live this life
{

i've come again
like a new year
to crash the gate
of this old prison
i've come again
to break the teeth and claws
of this man-eating
monster we call life
i've come again
to puncture the
glory of the cosmos
who mercilessly
destroys humans
i am the falcon
hunting down the birds
of black omen
before their flights
i gave my word
at the outset to
give my life
with no qualms
i pray to the Lord
to break my back
before i break my word
how do you dare to
let someone like me
intoxicated with love
enter your house
you must know better
if i enter
i'll break all this and
destroy all that
if the sheriff arrives
i'll throw the wine
in his face
if your gatekeeper
pulls my hand
i'll break his arm
if the heavens don't go round
to my heart's desire
i'll crush its wheels and
pull out its roots
you have set up
a colorful table
calling it life and
asked me to your feast
but punish me if
i enjoy myself
what tyranny is this
{
you mustn't be afraid of death
you're a deathless soul
you can't be kept in a dark grave
you're filled with God's glow
be happy with your beloved
you can't find any better
the world will shimmer
because of the diamond you hold
when your heart is immersed
in this blissful love
you can easily endure
any bitter face around
in the absence of malice
there is nothing but
happiness and good times
don't dwell in sorrow my friend
Translated by Nader Khalili "Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1994
{
Remember me.
I will be with you in the grave
on the night you leave behind
your shop and your family.
When you hear my soft voice
echoing in your tomb,
you will realize
that you were never hidden from my eyes.
I am the pure awareness within your heart,
with you during joy and celebration,
suffering and despair.
On that strange and fateful night
you will hear a familiar voice --
you'll be rescued from the fangs of snakes
and the searing sting of scorpions.
The euphoria of love will sweep over your grave;
it will bring wine and friends, candles and food.
When the light of realization dawns,
shouting and upheaval
will rise up from the graves!
The dust of ages will be stirred
by the cities of ecstasy,
by the banging of drums,
by the clamor of revolt!
Dead bodies will tear off their shrouds
and stuff their ears in fright--
What use are the senses and the ears
before the blast of that Trumpet?
Look and you will see my form
whether you are looking at yourself
or toward that noise and confusion.
Don't be blurry-eyed,
See me clearly-
See my beauty without the old eyes of delusion.
Beware! Beware!
Don't mistake me for this human form.
The soul is not obscured by forms.
Even if it were wrapped in a hundred folds of felt
the rays of the soul's light
would still shine through.
Beat the drum,
Follow the minstrels of the city.
It's a day of renewal
when every young man
walks boldly on the path of love.
Had everyone sought God
Instead of crumbs and copper coins
T'hey would not be sitting on the edge of the moat
in darkness and regret.
What kind of gossip-house
have you opened in our city?
Close your lips
and shine on the world
like loving sunlight.
Shine like the Sun of Tabriz rising in the East.
Shine like the star of victory.
Shine like the whole universe is yours!
translated by Jonathan Star
"Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved"

{
HOW SHOULD THE SOUL not take wings
when from the Glory of God

It hears a sweet, kindly call:
"Why are you here, soul? Arise!"

How should a fish not leap fast
into the sea from dry land

When from the ocean so cool
the sound of the waves reaches its

How should the falcon not fly
back to his king from the hunt

When from the falconer's drum
it hears to call: "Oh, come back"?

Why should not every Sufi
begin to dance atom-like

Around the Sun of duration
that saves from impermanence?

What graciousness and what beauty?
What life-bestowing! What grace!

If anyone does without that, woe-
what err, what suffering!

Oh fly , of fly, O my soul-bird,
fly to your primordial home!

You have escaped from the cage now-
your wings are spread in the air.

Oh travel from brackish water
now to the fountain of life!

Return from the place of the sandals
now to the high seat of souls!

Go on! Go on! we are going,
and we are coming, O soul,

From this world of separation
to union, a world beyond worlds!

How long shall we here in the dust-world
like children fill our skirts

With earth and with stones without value,
with broken shards without worth?
Let's take our hand from the dust grove,
let's fly to the heavens' high,

Let's fly from our childish behaviour
and join the banquet of men!

Call out, O soul, to proclaim now
that you are rules and king!

You have the grace of the answer,
you know the question as well!
{
HE SAID: "Who's knocking at my door?"
Said I: "Your humble servant!"
Said He: "What business have you got?"
Said I: "I came to greet You!"
Said He: "How long are you to push?"
Said I: "Until You'll call me!"
Said He: "How long are you to boil?"
Said I: "Till resurrection!"
I claimed I was a lover true
and I took may oaths
That for the sake of love I lost
my kingdom and my wealth!
He said: "You make a claim - the judge
needs witness for your cause!"
Said I: "My witness is my tears,
my proof my yellow face!"
Said He: "The witness is corrupt,
your eye is wet and ill!"
Said I: "No, by Your eminence:
My eye is sinless clear!"
He said: "And what do you intend?"
Said I: "Just faithful friendships!"
Said He: "What do you want from me?"
Said I: "Your grace abundant!"
Said He: "Who travelled here with you?"
Said I: "Your dream and phantom!"
Said He: "And what led you to me?"
Said I: "Your goblet's fragrance!"
Said He: "What is most pleasant, say?"
Said I: "The ruler's presence!"
Said He: "What did you see there, friend?"
Said I: "A hundred wonders!"
Said He: "Why is it empty now?"
Said I: "From fear of brigands!"
Said He: "The brigand, who is that?"
Said I: "IT is the blaming!"
Said He: "And where is safety then?"
Said: "In renunciation."
Said He: "Renunciation? That's ... ?"
Said I: "The path to safety!"
Said He: "And where is danger, then?"
Said I: "In Your love's quarters!"
Said He: "And how do you fare there?"
Said I: "Steadfast and happy."
I tested you and tested you,
but it availed to nothing -
Who tests the one who was once tried,
he will repent forever!
Be silent! If I'd utter here
the secrets fine he told me,
You would go out all of yourself,
no door nor roof could hold you!
{
OH HAPPY DAY when in you presence,
my ruler, I shall die!
When near the sugar-treasure melting
like sugar I shall die!
Out of my dust will grow a thousand
of centrifolias
When in the shade of yonder cypress
in gardens I shall die.
And when you pour into my goblet
the bitter drink of death,
I'll kiss the goblet full of joy, dear,
and drunken I shall die.
I may turn yellow like the autumn
when people speak of death,
Thanks to your smiling lip: like springtime
and smiling shall I die.
I have died many times, but your breath
made me alive again,
Should I die thus a hundred more times
I happily shall die!
A child that dies in mother's bosom,
that's how I am, my friend,
For in the bosom of His Mercy
and kindness, I shall die.
Say: Where would death be for the lovers?
Impossible is that!
For in the fountain of the Water
of Life - there I shall die!


translated by Annemarie Schimmel, 'Look! This is Love'


WHY CLING
Why cling to one life
till it is soiled and ragged?
The sun dies and dies
squandering a hundred lived
every instant
God has decreed life for you
and He will give
another and another and another
(translated by Daniel Liebert)
Mathnawi V. 411-414 (translated by Kabir Helminski)
The Rumi Collection, Edited by Kabir Helminski


At the twilight, a moon appeared in the sky;
Then it landed on earth to look at me.
Like a hawk stealing a bird at the time of prey;
That moon stole me and rushed back into the sky.
I looked at myself, I did not see me anymore;
For in that moon, my body turned as fine as soul.
The nine spheres disappeared in that moon;
The ship of my existence drowned in that sea.
Divan, 649:1-3,5


Now sleeping, now awake, my hart is in constant fervor.
It is a covered saucepan, placed on fire.
O you! who have offered us from a cup a silencing wine;
Each moment a new tale is shouting to be told in silence.
In his wrath there are a hundred kindnesses, in his meanness a hundred generosities;
In his ignorance immeasurable gnosis, silently speaking like the mind.
The words of those whom you have silenced, cannot hear
but those whom you have made unconscious;
I am both silent and fermenting for you like the sea of Aden!
Divan, 1808:6-9


Translated by Fatemeh Keshavarz,
'Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi
University of South Carolina Press, 1998.