Thursday, September 22, 2005

fire on fire

He who set the world on fire in me

And made a hundred tongues of flame speak from my mouth,

When fire blazed around me on all sides,

I sighed: he placed his hand upon my mouth.

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

Search word: fire

I woke this morning feeling like I'm on fire, all fired up, all guns blazing, revving and ready to go. Vroom! Vroom! Of course, fire is one of Rumi's primary metaphors and it was contrasted with wealth in yesterday's verse. Today's verse provides an insight into Rumi's creativity, into how it all began for him. This particular collection of quatrains was a prolific outpouring apparently motivated by his grief at losing Shams. The tone of the poetry is rarely self-pitying, except in mild jest or to make some point. It is true that flames of passion and of enlightenment leap out of every verse and it is extraordinary to read here how conscious Rumi was of this and yet how clearly he recognizes the power and contribution of the "other" in taming this fire by channeling and expressing it.

I myself feel afire and I fervently hope that my own "other" will serve me as well as he served Rumi.

Some further fires to consume:

I've started reading the latter and I'm enthralled. I want to read the former but will need to purchase it. Wealth, please come my way so I can feed my fire!

image @ Rumi page



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