Tuesday, February 28, 2006

a hearty soul

I have lost heart, my sweet, but you have yours.

Perhaps my words can move you to be kind.

Give back the heart you took from me, or else

You'll take from me, heartlessly, all else.

#1959: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search word: have

I chose today's quatrain in order to stay with yesterday's theme of having and being, based on the Fromm book. Here is very strange imagery: a man hands his heart over to a woman (perhaps he lost it, perhaps she took it) then pleads for its return because, if not, he'll hand everything else over (or lose it or have it taken from him). He suggests that "she" will take everything "heartlessly", without heart, even though she actually "has" two hearts, her own and his. What kind of knot is this? I'm guessing this is a fervent exercise in punning and word play. I'm guessing that this reads a lot more easily in the original Farsi.

I feel exhausted today, drained of heart myself. We had a leaky roof which has now been repaired so I feel better, back to the security of being wrapped in a protective shell. The repairer was a down-to-earth old fellow, a hearty soul, and we plan to give him more work replacing our guttering. A good tradesman is also very reassuring.

So I'll leave today's entry now, with Rumi's puzzle still largely unsolved and unresolved. Let it be so. Let it be so.


At Wednesday, 01 March, 2006, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Somewhere you mentioned that medieval Arabic was practically untranslatable, but I can't find the post or my comment on it now.

At Wednesday, 01 March, 2006, Blogger Bob Hoeppner said...

Found 'em, and your response. Thanks!


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