Monday, October 31, 2005

Saturn's play

I am hungry, I am sated with joy.

I'm a fox with a lion's great, dark fame.

The merest phantom takes my breath away,

But don't be fooled by that: my soul is brave.

#1350: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: sat

Today I sought out Saturn, satiation, saturation, satisfaction, the sat parts of which relate back to the same root that makes the word sad. I find Rumi filled with joy and acquisitive energy. As I read the second line, my tongue rolled into mane as the last word, only to find that fame won the day there. Rumi tells us here that he relies on cunning to uphold his lordly reputation. He then tells us he is very sensitive even to a suggestion of danger, fear comes to him quite readily. However, he has an inner determination, a bravery of soul, that can overcome this fear. It is, indeed, said that brave men are those that fear most while those without fear are merely reckless.

This is one of those verses for which I would like to see other translations. The meaning doesn't hang together as well as I would like. Perhaps an original play on words was lost. Perhaps I am being dense. Either way, the devil's in the detail.


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