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



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