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the Message Continues ... 12/126



Newsletter for February 2012


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Wake up!
by Rumi

every moment
a voice
out of this world
calls on our soul
to wake up and rise

this soul of ours
is like a flame
with more smoke than light
blackening our vision
letting no light through

lessen the smoke and
more light brightens your house
the house you dwell in now
and the abode
you'll eventually move to

now my precious soul
how long are you going to
waste yourself
in this wandering journey
can't you hear the voice
can't you use your swifter wings
and answer the call

-- Translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1994


Every instant a revelation from heaven comes to men's
innermost souls: "How long like dregs do you remain upon
earth? Come up!"
Whoever is heavy of soul in the end proves to be dregs;
only then does he mount to the top of the vat when his dregs
are clarified.
Do not stir the clay every moment, so that your water
may become clear, so that your dregs may be illumined, so
that your pains may be cured.*
It is spiritual, like a torch, only its smoke is greater
than its light; when its smoke passes beyond bounds, it
no longer displays radiance in the house.
If you diminish the smoke, you will enjoy the light of
the torch; both this abode and that will become illumined
by your light.
If you look into muddy water, you see neither the moon
nor the sky; sun and moon both disappear when darkness
possesses the air.
A northern breeze is blowing through which the air
becomes clarified; it is for the sake of this burnishing that
at dawn the zephyr breathes.
The spiritual breeze burnishes the breast of all sorrow;
let the breath be stopped but for a moment, and annihilation
will come upon the spirit.
The soul, a stranger in the world, is yearning for the
city of placelessness; why, O why does the bestial spirit
continue so long to graze?**
Pure, goodly soul, how long will you journey on? You
are the King's falcon; fly back toward the Emperor's whistle!

-- Translation by A. J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"
The University of Chicago Press, 1968

Arberry's footnotes:
*Man is composed of water and clay. Rumi puns on "durd"
(dregs) and "dard" (pains).
**Rumi puns on chara (graze) and chira (why).


For those who may be new to Rumi's work, the "Divan-e Shams"
is the "Collection of Shams" -- the collection of Rumi's lyrical ghazals (odes), named for his great friend, teacher, and inspiration, Shams of Tabriz. -- Sunlight Ed.





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