This Love is not a River…

Two of my favorite Fado songs, by two of my favorite singers, Cristina Branco and Carminho:

Translation:
This love is not a river
It has the vastness of the sea
The green dance of the waves
Sobbing in my eyes.
I tried to forget the words
Unspoken between us
But hanging over the silence
On the shores of our voice
I tried to forget your eyes
That do not know how to read mine
But in them is born the daybreak
That dawns on the earth and the heavens
I tried to forget your name
Pluck it from my thoughts
But it returns at every instant
Entwined in the wind.
I tried to see my image
But it was yours that I saw
In my mirror, for I bear
Your flat eyes.
This love is not a river
It has abysses like the sea
And the black mantle of the waves
Shrouds me in blackness
This love is not a river
It has the vastness of the sea
 
Original:
Este amor não é um rio
Tem a vastidão do mar
A dança verde das ondas
Soluça no meu olhar
Tentei esquecer as palavras
Nunca ditas entre nós
Mas pairam sobre o silencio
Nas margens da nossa voz
Tentei esquecer os teus olhos
Que não sabem ler nos meus
Mas neles nasce a alvorada
Que amanhece a terra e os céus
Tentei esquecer o teu nome
Arrancá-lo ao pensamento
Mas regressa a todo o instante
Entrelaçado no vento
Tentei ver a minha imagem
Mas foi a tua que vi
No meu espelho, porque trago
Os olhos rasos de ti
Este amor não é um rio
Tem abismos como o mar
E o manto negro das ondas
Cobre-me de negro o olhar
Este amor não é um rio
Tem a vastidão do mar
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/fado-perdi%C3%A7%C3%A3o-perdition-fado.html

Translation:
I wrote your name on the wind
convinced that I was writing it
on the page of forgetfulness
that in the wind
it would get lost
On the page of forgetfulness
that in the wind it would get lost
And on seeing it go
covered in dust
I considered my heart free
of the bonds of your love
I considered my heart free
of the bonds of your love
Poor me!
I never even thought
that just like me
the wind would fall in love
with that name that is yours
The wind would fall in love
with that name that is yours
As the wind stirs up, so does my pain get stirred up
I want to forget you, believe me
But there is always more wind
I want to forget you
but there is always more wind
Rumi
Translation:
Love is the One who masters all things;
I am mastered totally by Love.
By my passion of love for Love
I have ground sweet as sugar.
O furious Wind, I am only a straw before you;
How could I know where I will be blown next?
Whoever claims to have made a pact with Destiny
Reveals himself a liar and a fool;
What is any of us but a straw in a storm?
How could anyone make a pact with a hurricane?
God is working everywhere his massive Resurrection;
How can we pretend to act on our own?
In the hand of Love I am like a cat in a sack;
Sometimes Love hoists me into the air,
Sometimes Love flings me into the air,
Love swings me round and round His head;
I have no peace, in this world or any other.
The lovers of God have fallen in a furious river;
They have surrendered themselves to Love’s commands.
Like mill wheels they turn, day and night, day and night,
Constantly turning and turning, and crying out.
Original:
If I could see you I would die
and if I died, then I’d see you
I can’t stop, even though I’ve tried
from staring, drowning, in your eyes
Without you all I see are lies
and so my beautiful, that’s why
approaching you, I’m terrified
and yet, still more scared am I
of losing sight of you, my life
In death, I see you with your eyes
awake, you peer out within mine
your love swallowed the whole world up
and burned down my soul and my mind
even my love burned up in yours
it ate up all space and all time
so there’s no inside nor outside
there’s just your side, nothing to find
nothing to say, free, pay no mind
hearing no ears, seeing no eyes
all knots and thoughts simply unwind
as your sword falls, gentler than kind
there’s no one left to realize
Just your dark beauty, shining bright
in each and every lover’s sight
in every tale, in every plight
in all that’s wrong and all that’s right
beneath the depths, above the heights
through all the days, over the nights
you hold my soul closer than tight
and unseen, you perceive the sights
Love’s river floods mine out of sight
Love’s flames burn bodies into light
Love’s kiss turns death back into life
Love conquers all by its sweet might
And so whence my despair or fright?
when all my pains and all delights
are but you, your love and love bites
that bear aloft my soul’s fair kite
and put to shame all that I write

Near and Far, Fanā’ and Baqā’

A collection of verses from West African poets on the theme…

The first is said to have been improvised extemporaneously by Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Ya’qūb al-Kānemī (from Kanem in contemporary Northeastern Nigeria) upon his visit to the Almohad Sultan Abū Yūsuf Ya’qūb al-Manṣūr (d. 1199) in Marrakech. The Nigerian poet composed and recited these verse on the spot upon entering the Sultan’s presence:

He removed his veil, but out of awe, my eyes still saw him through a veil
His favour drew me near, but out of awe, found myself distant in this nearness.

 

Original:

ازال حجابه عنّي وعيني    تراه من المهابت في حجابي

وقرّبني تفضّله ولاكن  بعدت مهابتاً عند إقترابي

 

See this post for more on this theme and its symbolism…

 

The second is from a contemporary Tijānī scholar from Mauritania:

 

I was annihilated in love for him and I subsisted until
I was annihilated from that annihilation and from subsistence as well.

 

-Muhammad Ould Shaykh ‘Abd Allah

 

Original:

فنيت بحبه و بقيت حتى    فنيت عن  الفناء وعن البقاء

-لمحمد ولد شيخ عبدالله

As is this last set of verses:

I love the the sun when it appears, since it reminds me of the appearance of matchless love
And no star is seen when she comes forth, either from above or from below
And so, O Maya, you have appeared in the eye of my heart, and everything other than you has disappeared
So I see you in whatever is not you, and I don’t see other than you whenever I see you

 

Shaykh Manna Abba “Shaykhānī” wuld Muḥammad al-Ṭulbā, (modified from the translation by Muṣṭafā Okon-Briggs)

 

Original:

أحبّ الشّمس تطهر اذ تحاكي       ظهور الحبّ من غير اشتراك
فلا نجم يلوح متى تبدّت          ولو من غفرة أو من سماك
كذا يامىّ أنت لعين قلبي       ظهرت فعاب عنها من سواك
أراك إذا رأيت سواك فيه          ولستأرى سواك متى أراك

 

from: https://floodplains.tumblr.com/tagged/madh

 

 

Original:

Your beauty’s burned my vision black
      I’ve stared into the sun too long
and when my sight comes blinking back
      all things your face appears upon

 

Sulayman and Sheba’s Queen

watermirrormosquesulayman

The following verse of the Qur’an has inspired Islamic architecture and literature, illustrating the prominent symbols of the mirror and the perspective shift.

sulaymanthronepersian

surah 27-44

Qur’an 27:44 Pickthall translation:

It was said unto her : Enter the hall. And when she saw it she deemed it a pool and bared her legs. (Solomon) said: Lo! it is a hall, made smooth, of glass. She said: My Lord! Lo! I have wronged myself, and I surrender with Solomon unto Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

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mirrortree

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Persischer_Meister_sulayman Persischer_Meister_bilqis
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And since she, or Bilqîs, said in answer to the question concerning her throne, which was, “Is thy throne like this? (Quran XXVII, 42), “It seems the same” (XXVII, 42), one can detect her knowledge of the renewal of creation at each instant, for she said, “It seems”. And he showed her the pavillion of crystal, so she supposed it was like a spreading water “and she bared her legs” (Quran XXVII, 44) so the water would not touch her clothing. But it was not a spreading water in reality, just as the visible throne brought into existence before Solomon was not the same throne which she left in Sheba in respect of its form, for it had discarded the first form and assumed another, while the substance, upon which the two thrones imposed successively their forms, was one. So he showed her by that that the state of her throne was like that of the pavillion: as for the throne, because it was deprived of existence, and what the Creator created was similar to that which had vanished; and as for the pavillion, because in its extreme delicacy and limpidity it became similar to clear water, while (in reality) it was different. So he showed her with his actions that she was right in her words, “It seems the same.”

-Ibn ‘Arabi Naqsh al-Fusūs trans. by William Chittick


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Original

Solomon’s Pool

 

When you looked at  my polished heart’s shine
    you just saw your own  reflected in mine
And baring your legs,   you hiked up your soul
   to wade in my water, so clear and so cold
But I’m too jealous to let you baptize
    your body in anything else but my eyes
So you’ll walk on water, just like the Messiah
    and dance across skies, like sunset’s smooth fires
You sounded the depths, and to your surprise
    found it but a trick to uncover your thighs
The clothes that you bought, all the things that you thought
   in my mirror’s undertow, are all swept aside
And so now you walk with my heart underfoot
    we’re all alone, lift your head up love and look
Let me lift off that veil, since it’s just you and I
    it’s cold out there darling, come into my eyes…

 

sulaymnmoroccowater

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Those who believe are more intense in love…

 

ashadduhubanliLlah

AL-BAQARA-2-165-White

Quran 2:165

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ

 

“Translation”:

Among the people are some who take peers apart from God, loving them as if loving God. And those who believe are more intense in love for God. If only those who were unjust could see, they would see the punishment/sweetness: that all power is God’s and God is intense in punishment/sweetness.

 

Tafsir Maybudi 

They say that a man met a woman recognizer, and her beauty exercised its influence over his heart. He said, “’My all is busy with your all.’ O woman! I have lost myself in love for you.”

She said, “Why don’t you look at my sister, who is more beautiful and lovely than I?”

He said, “Where is your sister so that I may see her?”

She said, “Go, idler! Passion is not your work. If your claim to love me were true, you would not care about anyone else.”…

Shiblī said, “I learned Sufism from a dog that was sleeping at the door of a house. The owner came out and was driving the dog away, but the dog kept on coming back. I said to myself, ‘How base this dog is! He drives him away, and he keeps on coming back.’ The Exalted Lord brought that dog to speech and it said, ‘O Shaykh! Where should I go? He is my owner.’”

I will not leave the Friend at a hundred iniquities and cruelties.
Even if He increases them, I will not be troubled,
It is I who chose Him over everyone else;
if I complain about Him, I will have no excuse.

maghribcircle

 

Tafsir Kashani

But the believers love God more ardently, than any other, because they only love God. Their love for Him is not confounded with love of others and is not subject to change. They love things through [their] love of God and for God and in the measure that they find in these [things] a divine aspect…

or [it means that] they love [God] more than they love their deities because they love things in themselves for themselves and so inevitably their love changes [for these things] when they themselves change the accidents of their souls upon fear of perdition and the harm that the soul brings upon them. Believers love God through their spirits and their hearts, nay, through God and for God. Their love [for Him] does not change because it is selfless. They expend their spirits and their souls for the sake of His countenance and His approval, abandoning all of their desires for His desire, loving His acts even when they conflict with their caprices, as one of them said: “I desire to connect with Him while He desires to abandon me, so I abandon what I desire for what He desires.”

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Tafsir Anon.

Nothing but God is loved, nothing but God is worshipped— Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him (17:23)— indeed nothing but God is. However, some limit their love of God to a particular form or forms of His, an idol of sorts.

Those who love God in a limited form, in idols or “peers,” love a limited form, and thus their love is limited. Those who love God, Who is beyond all limitation (and is even beyond the limitation of being beyond limitation) love Him in each and every form, without limitation. Thus their love is unlimited, and more intense. He loves them and they love Him (5:54). They love Him with His love. Those who love the “idols” of a particular form or forms only love “as if with the Love of God” (كحبّ الله), but those who believe, who love of God is not limited by these forms, love God with His own unlimited love—God loves Himself through them.

Those who wrong themselves by limiting their love to a particular form or forms, if they could only see, would know the intense sweetness of love unlimited, and the severe punishment of limited love, especially when compared to sweetness of unlimited love. The pain of regret and envy is severe punishment.

Sheikh Lutfollah Mosque is standing on the eastern side of Naghsh-i Jahan Square, Isfahan. Construction of the mosque started in 1603 and was finished in 1619.

Ibn ‘Arabi 

Faṣṣ Harūn:

Have you seen him who has taken desire for his God? (45:23)

The greatest and most exalted locus of self-disclosure wherein He is worshipped is that of desire. Remember that He has said, Have you seen him who has taken his desire for his God? It is the greatest object of worship since nothing is worshipped except through it, and it is only worshipped by itself. Concerning this I say:

The truth of desire is that desire is the cause of desire
If not for desire in the heart, desire would not be worshipped

و حق الهوى إن الهوى سبب الهوى         لو لا الهوى في القلب ما عُبِدَ الهوى

Do you not see how perfect God’s knowledge of things is, how He perfects one who worships is desire and takes it has his divinity?… He sees this worshipper worshipping only his his desire, complying with its command to worship the individual whom he worships. Even his worship of God comes from his desire. If one did not have desire for the Divine—which is a will based on love—one would not worship God, nor would one prefer Him to another. Likewise, anyone who worships some form of the world and makes it a divinity only does so because of desire. The worshipper is forever under the influence of his desire. Now, he sees the objects of worship diversified amongst the worshippers, and each one who worships something, denies one who worships something else. One who has the least bit of awareness will be bewildered at the unanimity of desire, nay by the oneness of desire, for it is the same essence in every worshipper. God led him astray, that is, bewildered him, out of knowledge that every worshipper only worships his own desire, and only seeks to worship his desire whether it coincides with the prescribed command or not.

The perfect Knower is he who sees every object of worship as a locus of self-disclosure of the Real wherein to worship Him.

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This is why a human being does not become totally annihilated and enraptured by love except in love for His Lord or for someone who is the locus of disclosure for his Lord [that is, another human being, created in God’s image].

The entities of the cosmos are all lovers because of Him, whatever the beloved may be, since all created things are the pedestals for the Real’s self-disclosure. Their love is fixed, they are loving, and He is the Loving. The whole situation is concealed between the Real and creation through creation and the Real. That is why God brought the name Forgiving along with the name Loving [in the verse He is the Forgiving, the Loving, Lord of the Throne, the Glorious (85:14-15)]. After all, Forgiving means literally ‘curtaining’. Thus it is said that [the famous Arab lover] Qays loved Layla, since Layla derives from the locus of disclosure. In the same way, Bishr loved Hind, Kuthayr loved ‘Azza, Ibn al-Durayj loved Lubna, Tawba loved al-Akhyaliyya, and Jamil loved Buthayna. But all these women were pedestals through which the Real disclosed Himself to them.

The beloved is a pedestal even if the lover is ignorant of the names of what he loves. A man can see a woman and love her, without knowing who she is, what her name is, who her relatives are, and where she lives. Love, by its very essence, requires that he seek out her name and her home so that he may attend to her and know her in the state of her absence through the name and the relationship. Thus he will ask about her if he lacks the witnessing of her.

So also is our love for God. We love Him in His loci of self-disclosure and within the specific name, which is Layla, Lubna, or whatever, but we do not recognize that the object is identical with the Real. So here we love the name but we do not recognize that it is identical with the Real. Thus we love the name and do not recognize the entity.

In the case of the created thing, you know the entity and you love. It may be that the name is not known. However, love refuses anything but making the beloved known. Among us are those who know God in this world, and among us are those who do not know Him until they die while loving some specific thing. Then they will come to understand, when the covering is lifted, that they had loved only God, but they had been veiled by the name of the created thing.

 

—Futūḥāt IV 260.12; Trans. William Chittick “The Divine Roots of Human Love

Ibn al-Fāriḑ

If I say:  I have for you, each and every love
He says: Lovelieness is mine and every beauty is in me

 

إنْ قُلْتُ:عِندي فيكَ كل صَبابة ٍ؛       قالَ:المَلاحة ُ لي، وكُلُّ الحُسْنِ في

Turn your gaze to the beauties of his face,
Where all beauty has been gathered
If all beauty were perfected into one form
on seeing him, it would exclaim [in wonder],
“There is no god but God, and God is greater.”

 

فأَدِرْ لِحَاظَكَ في محاسنِ وجْهه            تَلْقَى جميعَ الحُسْنِ فيه مُصَوَّرا
لو أنّ كُلّ الحُسْنِ يكمُلُ صُورةً                    ورآهُ كان مُهَلِّلاً ومُكَبِّر

 

intricatepersianceiling

 

Shustarī
Her mystery flows through everything
so everything inclines towards her

 

Whoever witnesses the secret of her beauty says
that it is everywhere, but its fullness is hidden
Original:
كل  شِي   سرُها   فيه     سَرَى        فلذا   يثنى   عليها   كل      شيْ
قال  مَن  أشهدَ   معنى   حُسنها        إِنه     منتشرُ     والكل     طيْ

 

She is adorned with each and every kind of beauty
And the people of passion are mad with love for her, wherever she appears.

تحلّت بأنواع الجمال بأسرها                  فهام بها أهل الهوى حيثُ حلّت


Hafezieh_tomb_inside_ceiling

 

Hafez

Everyone, sober or drunk, seeks the beloved.
Every place, be it mosque or synagogue, is the house of love
همه كس طالب يارند چه هشيار و چه مست
همه جا خانه عشق است چه مسجد چه كنشت
Unknown
Various ways have those who love from (mere) passion
But I have a unique way,  in which I dwell alone.”

مذاهب شتى للمحبّين في الهوى            و لي مدهب فرد أعيش به وحدي

“Have you ever seen anything more lovely?”
I said, “is there anything else in existence?”

 

 

Original

We all long for her loveliness
on earth, in skies above
There is no other beauty
and nothing else to love

 

I said, “all my love is yours
all loves and for all time.”
She said, “it’s only fitting since
every beauty is mine.”

 

Love loves Love
and Love is One
that is all there is below
and all there is above

 

 

 

 

surah_al_baqarah_165_by_baraja19-d7cax3q 

The Guitar

Rumi

We are pain and what cures pain, both.
We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
I want to hold you close like a lute,
so that we can cry out with loving.
Would you rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror and here are the stones.

In the lover’s heart is a lute
Which plays the melody of longing
You say he looks crazy
But that’s only because your ears are not attuned
to the music he’s dancing to
amazingoudcloseup
You are sitting here with us,
but you are also out walking in a field at dawn.

 

You are yourself the animal we hunt
when you come with us on the hunt.

 

You are in your body
like a plant is solid in the ground,
yet you are wind.

 

You are the diver’s clothes
lying empty on the beach.
You are the fish.

 

In the ocean are many bright strands
and many dark strands like veins that are seen
when a wing is lifted up.

 

Your hidden self is blood in those,
those veins that are lute strings
that make ocean music,
not the sad edge of surf,
but the sound of no shore.

Venus touches the strings of her lute
 to lure out essence of this poem
My heart is like a lute each chord crying with longing and pain.
My Beloved is watching me wrapped in silence.

 

Jami

aan zamzameyam ze paye taa sar hame ‘eshq
Haqqa keh be ‘ahdha nayaayam birun
Bar ‘ude delam nawaakht yak zamzameye ‘eshq
Az ‘ahdeye haqq gozaari yakdameye ‘eshq

 

On the lute of my heart plays only one song of love:
Because of this melody, from head to foot, I am in love.
Truly, for ages I’ll never be able
To pay what I owe for one moment of love.

 

 

Fakhruddin ‘Iraqi 
(trans. William Chittick and P.L. Wilson)
Love plays its lute behind the screen –
where is a lover to listen to its tune?
With every breath a new song,
each split second a new string plucked.
The world has spilled Love’s secret –
when could music ever hold its tongue?
Every atom babbles the mystery –
Listen yourself, for I’m no tattletale!

 

 

 

 

The Guitar

by Federico García Lorca translated by Cola Franzen

The weeping of the guitar
begins.
The goblets of dawn
are smashed.
The weeping of the guitar
begins.
Useless
to silence it.
Impossible 
to silence it.
It weeps monotonously
as water weeps
as the wind weeps
over snowfields.
Impossible
to silence it.
It weeps for distant 
things.
Hot southern sands
yearning for white camellias.
Weeps arrow without target
evening without morning
and the first dead bird
on the branch.
Oh, guitar!
Heart mortally wounded
by five swords.

Guitar

Six bars cage my lonely heart
And rattle with its sad love moans
Six stars cluster round my eye
and dance, shimmering on silver thrones

 

Six dark girls, three bronze, three thin
Sing sighing for their distant homes
Six hairs heave with love’s breath
Braid flames into my wooden bones

 

Six rivers run over my mouth
And ripple with its quiet groans
Six threads from your skirt’s wide hem
Have hooked my ear and won’t let go

 

Six barbed lines make a net to catch
My spirit in its shadowed grove
Six bolts of lightning flash across
My mouth, smiling as thunder rolls

 

My body pierced by music from
The six strings of this compound bow
These six veins wrap around my heart
And bleeding song from five swords’ strokes

 

Form six paths for your love to flow
Through my heartsick and stricken soul
And weave love’s sweet, sad melodies
Between your fingers; strikes and blows

 


Segovia

Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.

“The guitar is fit for tender and sweet dialogue
with the girl we love
if the girl becomes disloyal to us
the cello—to confide our sorrow to a friend
and if the friend is also unfaithful
then the organ, to communicate
our affliction to God” ‘
– Andres Segovia The Guitar and I, Vol. 2 (1972. LP: MCA-2536)

 

 

In the violin and cello, we feel the human warmth of their timbres; and the guitar–the guitar condenses and refines the music played on it as the hundred fragrances of the forest are refined and condensed in a tiny flask.

I like very much the true flamenco, which is played with heavy fingers, roughly but from the soul. But flamenco has departed from the good simple tradition. The flamencos should not be professionals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I belong to the scarce minority of artists who work in good faith, around whom the phenomenal world vanishes, as it happens to the mystics when they give themselves to prayer.

amazingoudfull

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Among God’s creatures two, the dog and the guitar, have taken all the sizes and all the shapes, in order not to be separated from the man.

 

 

The advice I am giving always to all my students is above all to study the music profoundly….

 

 

Music is like the ocean, and the instruments are little or bigger islands, very beautiful for the flowers and trees.

 

 

The guitar is a small orchestra. It is polyphonic. Every string is a different color, a different voice The guitar is a miniature orchestra in itself.

― Ludwig van Beethoven

 

The hardest thing in the world…

ahh, who hasn’t felt like this…

Translation:
The hardest thing in the world
is studied and learned well
I tried to study your love
Because I couldn’t understand it,
I suffer and cry like a child

 

Before the image of Christ
I saw her crying one day
Striking her chest
because she was repenting for
the damage she had done to me

 

Original:

Lo más difícil del mundo
Se estudia y se aprende bien
Me puse a estudiar tu cariño
Y no lo pude comprender
Por eso sufro y lloro como un niño

Ante la imagen de cristo
La vi que lloraba un día
Y golpes se daba en el pecho
Porque estaba arrepentida
Del daño que me había hecho

Hafez
How can I untie this knot? How can I show this wound?
It is a pain, a harsh pain. It is work, a hard work.
چون اين گره گشايم وين ريش چهن نمايم
دردى و صعب دردى كارى و سخت كارى

An excerpt from another one of his ghazals:
 
Translation:
My tall beloved, so flirtatious
made short work of my long story of asceticism

O heart, did you see what my love-seeking eye did to me
in my old age, after all that asceticism and learning?

I tried to conceal the sign of love beneath my cloak of pride
but my tear was a tattletale and spread my secret

Now I’m drawing a picture on water with my tears
And wondering when this metaphor of mine will become real

I fear losing my faith, for the prayer-niche of your eyebrow
takes away the presence of my prayers

I smile as I cry to myself, like a candle, and wonder
What my burning patience could do to a stone heart like yours?

 

Original:
الابلند عشوه گر نقش باز من                                  کوتاه کرد قصه زهد دراز من
دیدی دلا که آخر پیری و زهد و علم                    با من چه کرد دیده معشوقه باز من
گفتم به دلق زرق بپوشم نشان عشق                    غماز بود اشک و عیان کرد راز من
نقشی بر آب می‌زنم از گریه حالیا                         تا کی شود قرین حقیقت مجاز من
می‌ترسم از خرابی ایمان که می‌برد                      محراب ابروی تو حضور نماز من
بر خود چو شمع خنده زنان گریه می‌کنم           تا با تو سنگ دل چه کند سوز و ساز من

and my own…

She stabbed me, but she took the knife
Time came and took the wound
And all I have left from that night:
A scarred face like the moon

 

 

 

Blow winds, blow

Ḥallāj:

 

Translation (a bit of license taken):

O wind of the dawn, I say to the gazelle
it only makes me thirstier, the water of this well
I have a beloved whose love lives within me
And if she likes, she walks on my cheeks as well
Her spirit is my spirit and my spirit is her spirit
If she wills, I want, and if I want, she wills

hallajpoem

Original:

يا نَسيمَ الريح قولي لِلرَشا              لَم يَزِدني الوِردُ إلا عَطشا
لي حَبيبٌ حُبُّهُ وَسطَ الحَشا           إِن يَشَأ يَمشي عَلى خَدّي مَشى
روحُهُ روحي وَروحي روحُهُ              إِن يَشَأ شِئتُ وَإِن شِئتُ يَشا

 

Ibn ‘Arabi:

Lyrics from Ibn ‘Arabi’s tarjuman al-ashwaq:

ألا يا نسيم الريح بلغ مها نجد      بأني على ما تعلمون من العهد
فان كان حقا ما تقول و عندها    إليّ من الشوق المبرّح ما عندي
إليها ففي حرّ الظهيرة نلتقي    بخيمتها سرا على أصدق الوعد

 

Translation:
O Morning breeze, go tell the gazelles of Najd
   that, “I’m true to the vow you know of”
And if what she says is true and she
   has for me the desperate longing I have
for her, then in the heat of noon we’ll meet
   in her tent secretly, with the most sincere promise

 

Hafez:

Translation:

The dawn breeze of your curling tress keeps me drunk constantly
the magic of your charming eyes keeps me wasted always

 

After so many night vigils, O Lord, will I ever be able to light
the candle of my sight at the mihrab of your eyebrow?

 

The black of the tablet of my vision is precious to me
Because, for my soul, it is a copy of your black mole

 

If you want to adorn the whole world forever
Tell the morning wind to lift the veil from your face for a while

 

If you want to banish all traces of fidelity from the world
Let down your hair, and let thousands of souls fall from every strand

 

The morning wind and I are two poor, hopeless wanderers
I from the magic of your intoxicating eyes, and he from the scent of your hair

 

How great is Hafez’s focus! For nothing in this world or the next
appeared in his eye save for the dust of your street.

 

Original:
مدامم مست مي دارد نسيم جعد گيسويت
خرابم مي کند هر دم فريب چشم جادويت
پس از چندين شکيبايي شبي يا رب توان ديدن
که شمع ديده افروزيم در محراب ابرويت
سواد لوح بينش را عزيز از بهر آن دارم
که جان را نسخه اي باشد ز لوح خال هندويت
تو گر خواهي که جاويدان جهان يک سر بيارايي
صبا را گو که بردارد زماني برقع از رويت
و گر رسم فنا خواهي که از عالم براندازي
برافشان تا فروريزد هزاران جان ز هر مويت
من و باد صبا مسکين دو سرگردان بي حاصل
من از افسون چشمت مست و او از بوي گيسويت
زهي همت که حافظ راست از دنيي و از عقبي
نيايد هيچ در چشمش بجز خاک سر کويت

 

 

Translation:
O dawn breeze, where is the friend’s place of rest?
Where is the home of that lover-slaying beauty?

 

Original:
ای نسیم سحر آرامگه یار کجاست
منزل آن مه عاشق کش عیار کجاست

 

Translation:

All night I hope that the the dawn breeze will caress
this friend with a message from the friends

 

Original:
همه شب در این امیدم که نسیم صبحگاهی
به پیام آشنایان بنوازد آشنا را
Rumi:
 Coleman Barks’ “Translation”:

 

No one knows what makes the soul wake up
 so happy! Maybe a dawn breeze
has blown the veil from the face of God.

 

A thousand new moons appear.
Roses open laughing.
Hearts become perfect rubies
 like those from Badakshan.

 

The body turns entirely spirit.
 Leaves become branches in this wind.
Why is it now so easy to surrender,
even for those already surrendered?

 

There’s no answer to any of this.
No one knows the source of joy.
A poet breathes into a reed flute,
and the tip of every hair makes music.

 

Shams sails down clods of dirt from the roof,
and we take jobs as doorkeepers for him.

 

Original:
مگر این دم سر آن زلف پریشان شدهاست
که چنین مشک تتاری عبرافشان شده است
مگر از چهره او باد صبا پرده ربود
که هزاران قمر غیب درخشان شده است
هست جانی که ز بوی خوش او شادان نیست
گر چه جان بو نبرد کو ز چه شادان شده است
ای بسا شاد گلی کز دم حق خندان است
لیک هر جان بنداند ز چه خندان شده است
آفتاب رخش امروز زهی خوش که بتافت
که هزاران دل از او لعل بدخشان شده است
عاشق آخر ز چه رو تا به ابد دل ننهد
بر کسی کز لطفش تن همگی جان شده است
مگرش دل سحری دید بدان سان که وی است
که از آن دیدنش امروز بدین سان شده است
تا بدیده است دل آن حسن پری زاد مرا
شیشه بر دست گرفته است و پری خوان شده است
بر درخت تن اگر باد خوشش می‌نوزد
پس دو صد برگ دو صد شاخ چه لرزان شده است
بهر هر کشته او جان ابد گر نبود
جان سپردن بر عاشق ز چه آسان شده است
از حیات و خبرش باخبران بی‌خبرند
که حیات و خبرش پرده ایشان شده است
گر نه در نای دلی مطرب عشقش بدمید
هر سر موی چو سرنای چه نالان شده است
شمس تبریز ز بام ار نه کلوخ اندازد
سوی دل پس ز چه جان‌هاش چو دربان شده است

 

Carminho

Translation of lyrics:

I wrote your name in the wind
Convinced that I was writing it
Upon the page of oblivion
That was lost in the wind (x 2)
And when I  saw it still buried
In the dust of the road
I thought my heart was free
From the bonds of your affection (x 2)
Poor me, I had no idea
That just like me
The wind would fall in love
With that name of yours
And as the wind tosses and turns
so does my torment
I want to forget you, believe me
But there is more and more wind

 

Me:
O wind of the dawn
Blow into my breast
Make the embers of my heart
Rise up from their death

 

O wind of the dawn
Blow into my breast
Sway my veins and let them shake
Love’s birds out from their nests

 

O wind of the dawn
Blow into my breast
Make my blood ripple
your reflection with your breath
O wind of the dawn
my heart’s caught in your grasp
your spirit’s within
whirling round inside it trapped

 

You can’t hold it in
and I can’t give it back
whisper something in my ear
take my soul with each gasp

 

 

The wine was so fine…

The following was one of Ibn ‘Arabi’s favorite verses of poetry, oft-quoted by Sufi authors ranging from al-Ghazzali to Fakhr ad-din ‘Iraqi to Emir ‘abd al-Qadir to explain the mysterious relationship between God and the heart.

 

 

The glass was so clear, and so was the wine
they became so similar, that it became unclear
Whether there was wine and no cup
Or a cup and no wine

-Ṣaḥib ibn ‘Abbād

 

Original:

رقَّ الزجاجُ وَرَقَّت الخمرُ          وَتشابها  فَتَشاكل     الأَمرُ

فَكَأَنَّما  خمرٌ   وَلا     قَدحٌ          وَكَأَنَّما  قَدحٌ   وَلا     خمرُ

 

As Junayd famously said,

The colour of water is the colour of its vessel

لون الماء لون انائه

Compare with my own humble meditation on this theme:

 

If you see cup and wine as two, you haven’t drunk enough
In this tavern, we drink love’s molten glass, served by the cup

 

And when the sparkling wine is swirled and left still to breathe well
That’s just the glass-blower whispering his secret sculpting spells

 

Not only does this wine redden cups’ sweet cheeks and their lips
Its pouring gives them lovely shapes and their bright translucence

 

The heavens are but spinning glasses cast from frozen wine
How strange that they all seem to fit within this cup of mine

 

Inside my glass, last night, I saw your face, mingling with mine
In drunken clarity, I sipped myself in your outline

 

The fine lines of your lips are just the rippling of this wine
And so we drink and kiss ‘till I can’t tell what’s yours from mine

 

Last night, I got so drunk I sold my soul for cups of wine
I’m back to see what I can get for my body this time

 

My heart’s the secret flask of that most thirsty of madmen
Who drained the wine, drank the dry glass, then downed the whole tavern

 

Bilqis thought our way was water, but soon learned this glass held wine
Sulayman’s tricked many spirits into these bottles of rhymes

 

Though everyone loves wine’s bouquet, who likes the drunkard’s belch?
Be quiet, hold your drink, and keep its secrets to yourself.

Lovers never die

Hafez:

                    هرگز نمیرد آن که دلش زنده شد به عشق

ثبت است بر جریده عالم دوام ما

He whose heart has been revived by love will never die
Our eternity has been written in the record of the world

 

Me:

Lips scalded by love’s tongues of flame
Can never taste death’s bitter pain

 

Hafez:

بگشای تربتم را بعد از وفات و بنگر

کز آتش درونم دود از کفن برآید

 

When I am dead, open my grave and see
The cloud of smoke that rises round thy feet:
In my dead heart the fire still burns for thee;
Yea, the smoke rises from my winding-sheet!

 

Translation: Gertrude Bell

Carminho-I said goodbye…

Disse-te adeus

 

Translation:

I said goodbye to you, I don’t remember
What day in September it was
Only that it was dawn
The street was empty
And even the moon, not wanting to intrude,
Pretended that it saw nothing

We smiled at farewell
Like people who know that life
Is just another name that death goes by
We never met again
Nor did we ask anyone
About each other

What memory or yearning
Will tell the whole truth
That we couldn’t handle then?
Whether by nostalgia or by memory
I can only tell the story
Of how much I miss you

 

Original:

Disse-te adeus não me lembro
Em que dia de Setembro
Só sei que era madrugada;
A rua estava deserta
E até a lua discreta
Fingiu que não deu por nada

Sorrimos à despedida
Como quem sabe que a vida
É nome que a morte tem
Nunca mais nos encontrámos
E nunca mais perguntámos
Um p’lo outro a ninguém

Que memória ou que saudade
Contará toda a verdade
Do que não fomos capazes
Por saudade ou por memória
Eu só sei contar a história
Da falta que tu me fazes

lyrics and translation from: http://lyricstranslate.com

 

And then you walked away
With my heart between your lips
Bound to your caprice like
A balloon tied to your wrist

 

 

I‘d be lying if I said
that the dark sparks of your eyes
didn’t leap up in my heart
to burn my soul from time to time

 

I’d be lying if I said
that lightning didn’t dance
throughout my tired veins
when I recall your glance

 

I’d be lying if I said
that the coral of your lips
didn’t stir up my soul’s waves
and drown my shores in your bliss

 

I’d be lying if I ever tried
to talk about the truth
the best I have is this sad sigh:
I’m dying and I love you