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#2943 - Monday, October 1, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee

Nondual Highlights        

Gift for Mawlana Rumi on his 800th birthday 

A compendium of english translations and versions of Jalal al-Din Rumi.
  Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Muhammad Rumi (Persian: Celâleddin Mehmed Rumi) , also known as Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi (Persian: ), but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi, (September 30, 1207–December 17, 1273), was a 13th century Persian Muslim poet, jurist, and theologian. His name literally means "Majesty of Religion", Jalal means "majesty" and Din means "religion".

Offered as both a tribute to Rumi and the spirit of spontaneity, you may follow this link to random pages of his poetry found within Rumiverse.
Rumi was born in Balkh (then a city of Greater Khorasan in Persia, now part of Afghanistan) and died in Konya (in present-day Turkey). He wrote his poetry in Persian and his works are widely read in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and in translation in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the US, and South Asia. Rumi's importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. Throughout the centuries he has had a significant influence on Persian as well as Urdu and Turkish literatures.

His apprenticeship as a Sufi mystic was guided by the mysterious Shams ad-Din Tabrizi (d. 1247), who was considered one of the spiritual masters of Rumi's age. His major work is the Mathnawi, a vast 6 vol. work of spiritual teaching and Sufi lore in the form of stories and lyric poetry of extraordinary quality. The Mathnawi is one of the enduring treasures of the Persian-speaking world, known and memorized by most. It is popularly called "the Qur'an in Persian." The singing of the Mathnawi has become an art form in itself. Rumi also founded the Mawlawiyya (Mevlevi) Sufi order, who use dancing and music as part of their spiritual method, and who are known in the West as Whirling Dervishes.

Ed. Note:

Abdullah bin John has made this incredible resource available to us. With multiple translations and so many poems gathered in one place, this is a brand new website for the friends and lovers of Rumi.  800 years is a long time to remain alive, and Rumi is indeed so very alive.


Ghazal 441

What I want is to see your face
in a tree, in the sun coming out, in the air.

What I want is to hear the falcon-drum,
and light again on your forearm.

You say, "Tell him I’m not here." The
sound of that brusque dismissal becomes
what I want.

To see in every palm your elegant silver coin-shavings,
to turn with the wheel of the rain,
to fall with the falling bread of every experience,

to swim like a huge fish in ocean water,
to be Jacob recognizing Joseph.
To be a desert mountain instead of a city.

I’m tired of cowards.
I want to live with lions.
With Moses.

Not whining, teary people.
I want the ranting of drunkards.
I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying
who hears, or what they think.

Last night, a great teacher went
from door to door with a lamp.
"He who is not to be found is the one
I’m looking for."

Beyond wanting, beyond place, inside form,
That One. A flute says, I have no hope
for finding that.

But Love plays and is the music played.
Let that musician finish this poem.

Shams, I am a waterbird flying into the sun.

Version by Coleman Barks,
"We Are Three,"
Maypop, 1987



Ghazal 532

Each Note

Advice doesn't help lovers!
They're not the kind of mountain stream
you can build a dam across.

An intellectual doesn't know
what the drunk is feeling!

Don't try to figure
what those lost inside love
will do next!

Someone in charge would give up all his power,
if he caught one whiff of the wine musk
from the room where the lovers
are doing who-knows-what!

One of them tries to dig a hole through a mountain.
One flees from academic honors.
One laughs at famous mustaches!

Life freezes if it doesn't get a taste
of this almond cake.
The stars come up spinning
every night, bewildered in love.
They'd grow tired
with that revolving, if they weren't.
They'd say,
"How long do we have to do this!"

God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.
Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it's enough.

Go up on the roof at night
in this city of the soul.

Let everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!

Sing loud!

The Essential Rumi
Version by Coleman Barks with John Moyne
HarperSanFrancisco, 1995



Ghazal 2172

Totally conscious, and apropos of nothing, he comes to see me.
Is someone here? I ask.
The moon. The full moon is inside your house.

My friends and I go running out into the street.
I'm in here, comes a voice from the house, but we aren't
We're looking up at the sky.
My pet nightingale sobs like a drunk in the garden.
Ringdoves scatter with small cries. Where, Where.
It's midnight. The whole neighborhood is up and out in
the street
thinking, The cat-burglar has come back.
The actual thief is there too, saying out loud,
Yes, the cat-burglar is somewhere in this crowd.
No one pays attention.

Lo, I am with you always, means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self,
or things that have happened to you.
There's no need to go outside.
Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.

A white flower grows in the quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.

Version by Coleman Barks
"The Essential Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 1995


  Most viewed Rumi poem on YouTube   

    Alan Larus 

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