Friday, June 26, 2009

quatrain 1513

From sunlight, two versions of quatrain #1513:
without looking at you
I can not touch the wine
without your hand
I can not win the dice
you are asking me
to dance from afar
without your music
dance will not arrive

--Translation by Nader Khalili
Rumi, Dancing the Flame
Cal-Earth Press, 2001

There is no wine without You,
no use for the rosary without Your hand.
From afar You order me to dance
bu unless You set the stage and
open the curtain, my Beloved,
how can I dance?

-- Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
Rumi: Whispers of the Beloved
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1999

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

joy and sorrow

From sunlight, some Mathnawi by Maufroy:
If the thought of sorrow spoils your joy, yet it prepares
you for joy.
Sorrow sweeps the house fiercely, emptying it of
everything, then, coming from the Source of goodness,
a new joy enters.
Sorrow chases away the withered leaves in the heart,
then new green leaves can grow.
Sorrow uproots the previous joy, then a new delight
springs from beyond.

-- Mathnawi V, 3678/3681
Translated by Muriel Maufroy
Breathing Truth - Quotations from Jalaluddin Rumi
Sanyar Press - London, 1997


Thursday, June 18, 2009

sexism in Rumi

From sunlight, this ode with a frankly sexist message in the last two lines:
Once again we have left our heart, intellect, and
spirit behind - the Friend has come into the midst and we
have disappeared.
We have turned back from annihilation and become
woven into subsistence; we have found the Traceless and
thrown away all traces.
Stirring up dust from the ocean and smoke from
the nine spheres, we have discarded Time, the earth, and
the heavens.
Beware, the drunkards have come! Clear the way! - no
I said that wrong, for we have been delivered from the way and
the travelers.
The spirit's fire has lifted its head from the body's
earth; the heart began to shout, and like a shout, we rose up.
Let us speak less, for if we speak, few understand. Pour
more wine, for we have entered the ranks of the self-deniers!
Existence is for women - the work of men is nonexistence.
Thanks be to God, for we have risen as champions in nonexistence!

Ghazal (Ode) 1601
Translation by Professor William C. Chittick


Friday, June 12, 2009

quatrain 1118

From Sunlight, a second version of quatrain #1118, to add to the translation by Zara Houshmand under a slavery that sets free. These two translations are quite different in actual words and feelings evoked.
I am filled with splendor,
   spinning with your love.

It looks like I'm spinning around you,
   but no – I'm spinning around myself!

version by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva

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