1941 When you reveal those rose-colored cheeks (of yours),you
make the stones whirl2 from joy.
Put (your) head out from the veil once again, for the sake of
So that knowledge may lose the way, (and) the intellectual may
shatter (his) learning;
So that water may become a pearl3 from your reflection, (and) fire
may quit war.
1945 With (the presence of) your beauty, I don't desire the (lovely
full) moon or those few little hanging lanterns (in the heavens).
(And) with (the presence of) your face, I don't call the ancient rusty
sky a "mirror."
You breathed into and created this narrow world4 in another form
O Venus,5 make that harp melodious again, in desire for his
--From The Dîwân-é Kabîr (also known as "Kulliyat-é Shams" and
"Dîwân-é Shams-é Tabrîz") of Jalaluddin Rumi.
Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard, (with
gratitude for A. J. Arberry's 1968 British translation)
© Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)
First published on "Sunlight" (yahoogroups.com), 11/4/98
(revised 7/01; re-published on "Sunlight," 8/14/01)
Notes on the text, with line number:
1. Ghazal 171: Compare to: the translation from Persian by A. J.
Arberry, "Mystical Poems of Rumi," 1968, no. 20, pp. 21-22; the
version by Coleman Barks (based on Arberry's translation from
Persian by), "Like This," 1990, p. 62, re-printed in "The Essential
Rumi," 1995, pp. 35-36 (entitled, by Barks, "A Great Wagon").
2. (1941) you make the stones whirl: possibly a reference to the
rotation of millstones.
3. (1944) So that water may become a pearl: pearls were believed to
form when a drop of rain-water fell into the sea and was consumed
by an oyster. Here the process is imagined as an immediate
4. (1947) You breathed into and created this narrow world: in this
line the Divine Beloved (God) is in the foreground. It is a
characteristic of Persian sufi poetry to be ambiguous about
whether the human beloved or the Divine Beloved is addressed.
Here, there is a reference to how God creates with breath and
sound: He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. And if He
decrees a thing, He says to it, "Be!' And it is." (Qur'ân 2:117)
5. (1948) Venus: the planet associated with music and joy.
chôn namây-î ân rokh-é gol-rang-râ
az Tarab dar charkh âr-î sang-râ
bâr-é dêgar sar berûn kon az Hijâb
az barây-é `âshiq-ân-é dang-râ
tâ ke dânesh gom kon-ad mar râh-râ
tâ ke `âqil be-sh'kan-ad farhang-râ
tâ ke âb az `aks-é tô gawhar shaw-ad
tâ ke âtesh wâ-hel-ad mar jang-râ
1945 man na-khwâh-am mâh-râ bâ Husn-é tô
w-ân dô-se qindîl-ak-é âhang-râ
man na-goy-am âyena bâ roy-é tô
âsmân-é kohna-yé por-rang-râ
dar damîd-î w-afrîd-î bâz tô
shakl-é dêgar în jahân-é tang-râ
dar hawây-é chashm-é chûn mirrîkh-é ô
sâz deh ay zuhra bâz ân chang-râ
Meter: XoXX XoXX XoX
(Ramal mahzûf musaddas)