Thursday, February 26, 2009

quatrain 106

From Sunlight comes two further versions of quatrain 106 in addition to Houshmand's at seek the science.

seek only the knowledge
that un-ties the problems
of your life
seek it soon
your number is up
leave alone
what seems to be
but is not
seek what
seems not to be
yet it might

trans by Nader Khalili

Seek the wisdom
that will untie your knot
seek the path
that demands your whole being.
Leave that which is not, but appears
to be
seek that which is, but is
not apparent.

trans by Azima Melita Kolin and Maryam Mafi

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

old woman soul

I don't usually bother too much with poems from Sunlight other than the quatrains. However, this one appealed so much that I had to make an exception.
Soul And The Old Woman

What is the soul? Consciousness. The more awareness, the
deeper the soul, and when

such essence overflows, you feel a sacredness around. It's
so simple to tell one who

puts on a robe and pretends to be a dervish from the real
thing. We know the taste

of pure water. Words can sound like a poem but not have
any juice, no flavor to

relish. How long do you look at pictures on a bathhouse
wall? Soul is what draws

you away from those pictures to talk with the old woman
who sits outside by the door

in the sun. She's half blind, but she has what soul loves
to flow into. She's kind; she weeps.

She makes quick personal decisions, and laughs so easily.

-- Mathnawi: VI: 148-50
Version by Coleman Barks
"The Soul of Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 2001

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

quatrain 276

From Sunlight, quatrain 276:

The marvelous sound
That comes from the sky – I am That.
The sweet fragrance
That comes from the garden – I am That.

The great beauty
That comes from the heart and soul
Until I leave . . . Wait!
I can't leave – I am That.

Version by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Mary pregnant

From Sunlight today, an interesting snippet from the Masnawi by the Helminskis:
The Universal Soul met a separate soul
and placed a pearl on her breast.
Through such contact the soul, like Mary,
became pregnant with a heart-winning messiah.

Mathnawi II: 1183-1184
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski

This comes from Book II, STORY IV. The Falcon and the Owls., where it is rendered thus by Whinfield:
Universal Soul had connection with Partial Soul,
Which thence conceived a pearl and retained it in its bosom.
From that connection, like Mary,
Soul became pregnant of a fair Messiah;
Not that Messiah who walked upon earth and water,
But that Messiah who is higher than space. *
Next, as Soul became pregnant by the Soul of souls,
So by the former Soul did the world become pregnant;
Then the World brought forth another world,
And of this last are brought forth other worlds.
Should I reckon them in my speech till the last day
I should fail to tell the total of these resurrections.

Abridged and Translated by E.H. Whinfield [1898]
* i.e., the spirit of the Prophet Muhammad, whom the Sufis identify with the Primal Soul.

Labels: , ,