When You Reveal Those Rose-Colored Cheeks

Ghazal 1711

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
amazed lovers--

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
once again.

O Venus,5 make that harp melodious again, in desire for his
Mars-like eyes!

--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)