Saturday, January 18, 2020

Rumi ♡ Drunk

you are drunk
and i'm intoxicated
no one is around
showing us the way home

again and again
i told you
drink less
a cup or two

i know in this city
no one is sober
one is worse than the other
one is frenzied and
the other gone mad

come on my friend
step into the tavern of ruins
taste the sweetness of life
in the company of another friend

here you'll see
at every corner
someone intoxicated
and the cup-bearer
makes her rounds

i went out of my house
a drunkard came to me
someone whose glance
uncovered a hundred
houses in paradise

rocking and rolling
he was a sail
with no anchor but
he was the envy of all those sober ones
remaining on the shore

where are you from i asked
he smiled in mockery and said
one half from the east
one half from the west
one half made of water and earth
one half made of heart and soul
one half staying at the shores and
one half nesting in a pearl

i begged
take me as your friend
i am your next of kin
he said i recognize no kin
among strangers
i left my belongings and
entered this tavern
i only have a chest
full of words
but can't utter
a single one

Ghazal 2309
Translated by Nader Khalili
Rumi, Fountain of Fire

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Metaphor - the heart of mystic poetry

Don't hand me another glass of wine.
Pour it in my mouth.
I've lost the way to my mouth.

  Much of mystic poetry is meant to be read and interpreted as metaphor, not fact.  Consider Plato's allegory of the cave and the escapee trying to describe the beauty of sunshine to the prisoners who have known only darkness and shadow.  It is necessary for the poet to re-interpret their experience into something relatable. This may seem like stating the obvious, but there are many Professors who insist that Omar Khayyam continued reference to wine in his Rubaiyat is a reference to alcohol:  this may not be true.  The reference to wine in mystic poetry is a metaphor for the pure love of the divine and the feeling of intoxication it brings.  In the poem below, when the poet makes this reference "God is singing within your heart", this suggests an experience, similar to the emotional response of hearing a beautiful voice.
    Perhaps the narrow interpretation of mystic poetry comes from a lack of faith - is it really possible to experience the touch of God, the love of God?  Perhaps there is doubt that God can be so personal and real? Or there is an inability to accept that there may be something that exists outside one's realm of study - all must fit into what is already known, otherwise it doesn't exist.  One can only guess the source of the difficulty.   But the way to read and experience mystic poetry is with the heart; as if listening to a beautiful piece of music.  The notes follow a logic of their own, the beauty comes from letting it flow through your heart unimpeded and feeling the feeling it creates. 

 Here's the new rule:
Break the wineglass, and fall toward the glassblower's breath.

 I know who you are, I know who I am
I know the truth and the meaning of love.
God is singing within your heart
breathing inside your breath
more close than a hand within a glove
or a thought within the head.
If you listen, my friend, with an open heart
you will know this declaration's true
the Truth?  You forgot some time ago
the surprise - the revelation's you
you wrote this poem
yes, you
back then
when your heart was filled with ecstasy
blind drunk on the clear wine of love.   


Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Cupbearer - A Sufi poem by Alireza Nurbakhsh

Cupbearer be generous – make me drunk
Let me be a moth circling around your face.

Make me a stranger to I and we.
Let me share my abode with your love.

Oh beloved! Gaze upon me.
I am your guest
Show your face! Make me crazy!

If you do not give me wine, I will not complain.
If you bestow wine, I will become the goblet.

If you burn my heart and soul in fire,
I become a legend in love and fidelity.

Oh beloved! Be merciful. Revive my heart.
Make me a pearl in the ocean of nothingness.

Every moment you bestow light upon me
To turn me into a beloved out of your generosity.