Jalal al-Din Rumi
While I was familiar with Rumi through the translations of A.J. Arberry and
Reynold Nicholson, it was not until Robert Bly's reading of Rumi's poems
translated by Coleman Barks that made Rumi's poems alive to me. When attending
Bly's Poetry Workshop at Asilomar (1988), he made us memorize three Rumi's
Quatrains. Two that I chose are cited below. The line "Let the beauty we love
be what we do." from Quatrain #82 is similar to Joseph Campbell's
"Follow your bliss" if we wish to lead a joyful and creative life.
"Ode #1937: Unmarked Boxes" is one of my favorite Rumi poems. I love
the line Tatatumtum tatum tatadum as it reminds me of
Native American drumming that raises our awareness to Higher Consciousness.
I also love Rumi's humility when he says that he has neither the gold of
the sun or the bread, and is only talking about them of course he does!
As an enlightened Sufi master, Rumi is at one with the gold, the light, the Sun
that's why we feel the golden light poured into us when reading his poems.
Rumi's mind is empty like that desert receiving the blessings of the stars
on a clear night.
Quatrain #82 (circa 1250 A.D.)
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
The minute I heard my first love story
In your light I learn how to love.
Ode #1937: Unmarked Boxes
Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round
as a town in the desert looks up
| © Peter Y. Chou, WisdomPortal.com
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