Tuesday, May 24, 2005

dark flirtation

Look at her dark hair, her grace as she stands.

Think of the sweetness of those ruby lips.

"Your kiss for alms," I begged, "for goodness' sake."

She turned, laughed: "Think what a profit you'd make!"

#867: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

This morning I thought of dreams as a dark forest in which we wander at night, so I chose dark as my search word and reached the "dark hair" of a graceful maiden with "ruby lips". This is such a classic image! Is she not every man's dream? The lover begs that she give him a kiss as alms. He seems to have nothing to offer in return so she simply laughs at him. This is such a playful verse, so seemingly flirtatious. Is Rumi flirting with me, with his reader? He seems to say that the male lover has nothing to offer the female goddess. Nothing more, nothing less.

She is his soul or anima and Rumi reaches her, I think, through his love of Shams. The more he integrates Shams after losing him through his outer disappearance, the closer he comes to this inner feminine figure. Thus does she make sense in a love poem to Shams.


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