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

Camaron, Me, and ‘Attar

El Padre Santo de Roma

 

Translation:

Lailolailolailo, Leilo …

Holy Father in Rome,
I have to ask
if the sins that I have
if the sins I have,
if the sins I have,
can they be forgiven?

I’m like a sad bird
that goes from branch to branch,
singing its suffering,
singing its suffering,
because it doesn’t know how to cry.

Oh how beautiful are the flowers,
the cheerful spring
with its divine colors.
You are the sea,
I am the sand,
I’ll go with you,
wherever you want.

Europe’s Chapel,
Europe’s Chapel,
overlooking the bay
so pretty and beautiful,
so pretty and beautiful,
the fields of Andalusia.

You are the sea,
I am the sand,
I’ll go with you,
wherever you want.

Original:

Lailolailolailo, leilo…

Al Padre Santo de Roma,
le tengo que preguntar
si los pecados que tengo
si los pecados que tengo,
si los pecados que tengo,
me los puede perdonar.

Soy cómo el pájaro triste,
ay que de rama en rama va,
cantando su sufrimiento,
cantando su sufrimiento,
porque no sabe llorar.

{Olé, Paco}

Ay qué bonitas están las flores,
de la alegre primavera
con sus divinos colores.
Tú eres la mar,
yo soy la arena,
yo voy contigo,
dónde tú quieras.

De la Capilla de Europa,
de la Capilla de Europa,
se divisa la bahía
más bonita y más hermosa,
ay más bonita y más hermosa,
de la vega Andalucía.

Tú eres la mar,
yo soy la arena,
yo voy contigo,
dónde tú quieras.

 

 

You forged these chains and set me free
I’m your dream, you’re my memory
Don’t forget me, I beg you please
My darkness, light, health and disease

My love is yours, so yours is mine
So lift my ore out of this mine
Don’t leave me shrouded in my mind
Love flows behind the clouds of time

Only my death will end our war
My perfections stain your faults
My waves will crash upon your shore
Until your rocks become my salt

 

دلم دردى كه دارد با كه گويد

 

To whom can my heart speak of its pain
     To whom can I repent, for I’ve sinned again?
Alas!  Isn’t there a sympathetic freind
   who would welcome my bad luck?
When you spoke to me of abandonment
   you were a dying person describing death
Why should one wash their hands of you when
   they’re not full at the table of your union?
My heart sees your face through a hundred walls;
   it breathes your scent from a hundred leagues
I won’t forget the rose of your union
   otherwise the thorns will grow upon my grave
Today the grief of ‘Attar’s heart
   speaks or is silent by your decree

-‘Attar

Original:

دلم دردی که دارد با که گوید            گنه خود کرد تاوان از که جوید
دریغا نیست همدردی موافق        که بر بخت بدم خوش خوش بموید
مرا گفتی که ترک ما بگفتی               به ترک زندگانی کس بگوید
کسی کز خوان وصلت سیر نبود            چرا باید که دست از تو بشوید
ز صد بارو دلم روی تو بیند             ز صد فرسنگ بوی تو ببوید
گل وصلت فراموشم نگردد             وگر خار از سر گورم بروید
غم درد دل عطار امروز               چه فرمایی بگوید یا نگوید

 

Cups and wine and vine-Hafez

Last night I saw the angels
tapping at the wine-shop’s door.
And kneading Adam’s dust,
and molding it as cups for wine;

 

And, where I sat beside the road,
these messengers of heaven
Gave me their wine to drink,
so that their drunkenness was mine.

 

The heavens could not bear
the heavy trust they had been given,
And lots were cast, and crazed
Hafez’s name received the sign

 

Forgive the seventy-two
competing factions- all their tales
Mean that the Truth is what
they haven’t seen and can’t define.

 

But I am thankful that there’s peace
between Him now, and me;
In celebration of our pact
the houris drink their wine-

 

And fire is not what gently smiles
from candels’ flames, it’s what
Annihilates the flocking moths
that flutter round His shrine.

 

Original:

 

دوش دیدم که ملائک در میخانه زدند
گل آدم بسرشتند و به پیمانه زدند

 

ساکنان حرم ستر و عفاف و ملکوت
با من راه نشین باد مستانه زدند

 

شکر ایزد که میان من و او صلح افتاد
صوفیان رقص کنان ساغر شکرانه زدند

 

آسمان بار امانت نتوانست کشید
قرعه فال به نام من دیوانه زدند

 

آتش آن نیست که از شعله او خندد شمع
آتش آنست که در خرمن پروانه زدند

 

جنگ هفتاد و دو ملت همه را عذر بنه
چون ندیدند حقیقت ره افسانه زدند

 

ما بصد خرمن پند و اندرز ره چون نرویم
چون ره آدم خاکی بیکی دانه زدند

 

کس چو حافظ نگشاد از رخ اندیشه نقاب
تا سر زلف عروسان سخن شانه زدند

 

 

When you drink wine, sprinkle
A few drops on the ground—
What’s there to fear from sin
That spreads much joy around?

 

Go, drink up all you have,
Drink now and don’t delay—
Death’s dagger won’t delay
Dispatching you one day.

 

My cypress-slender love,
By the dust on which you tread,
Don’t hesitate to visit
My dust when I am dead

 

In heaven or in hell,
For angels or for men
In every faith — to hold back
Counts as a mortal sin.

 

The architect of heaven
Who gave the world its shape
Has sealed its six directions
So that there’s no escape.

 

The daughter of the vine
Leads Reason all astray—
May the vine’s trellis stand
Unharmed till Judgement Day!

 

And may your dear friends’ prayers,
Hafez, when you depart
Via the wine-shop’s door,
Accompany your heart.

 

 

 Original:
                  اگر شراب خوری جرعه‌ای فشان بر خاک
از آن گناه که نفعی رسد به غیر چه باک
                 برو به هر چه تو داری بخور دریغ مخور
که بی‌دریغ زند روزگار تیغ هلاک
                       به خاک پای تو ای سرو نازپرور من
که روز واقعه پا وامگیرم از سر خاک
                   چه دوزخی چه بهشتی چه آدمی چه پری
به مذهب همه کفر طریقت است امساک
                            مهندس فلکی راه دیر شش جهتی
چنان ببست که ره نیست زیر دیر مغاک
                      فریب دختر رز طرفه می‌زند ره عقل
مباد تا به قیامت خراب طارم تاک
                      به راه میکده حافظ خوش از جهان رفتی
دعای اهل دلت باد مونس دل پاک

 

 

Good wine, that doesn’t stupefy
That’s served by someone pretty—who
Among the wise men of this world
Escapes the snares set by these two?

 

It’s true I’m dissolute, in love,
Known as a shiftless miscreant…
A thousand thanks, then, that this town
Provides friends who are innocent.

 

If you should step inside our wine shop,
Look to your manners while you’re there—
The crowd that hangs around its door
Are the king’s cronies, so take care!

 

Cruelty is not the way of pilgrims,
Poor men who seek their journey’s end;
Bring wine! These “pilgrims” here are going
Nowhere, for all that they pretend.

 

But don’t despise the beggar’s lost
In hopeless love, don’t put them down—
They’re kings, though this one has no scepter
Monarchs, though that one has no crown

 

Don’t mar your loveliness, don’t let
The glory of your charm be shattered—
You’ll find your servants and your slaves
And all your retinue have scattered

 

I am the slave of those who drink
Life to the dregs, but not of those
Who hide a blackened heart beneath
The showy splendor of their clothes

 

Be ready, for a winnowing wind
Will blow—none of us sha;; remain,
And all devotions’s thousand harvests
Will not be worth a barley grain.

 

Love is the nobler task—up then,
Hafez, and seek it while you may,
For lovers will not let the timid
Amble beside them on love’s way.

 

 

Translations from Dick Davis. Faces of Love: Hafez and the Poets of Shiraz. Mage, 2012.

 

Original:

شراب بى غش و ساقى خوش دو دام رهند               كه زيركان جهان از كمندشان نرهند
من ار چه عاشقم و رند و مست و نامه سياه               هزار شكر كه ياران شهر بى گنهند
جفا نه پيشه ء درويشى است و راهروى                 بيار باده كه اين سالكان نه مرد رهند
مبين حقير گدايان عشق را كاين قوم                       شهان بى كمر و خسروان بى كلهند
به هوش باش كه هنگام باد استغناء                       هزار خرمن طاعت به نيم جو ننهند
مكن كه كوكبه ء دلبرى شكسته شود                     چو بندگان بگريزند و چاكران بجهند
غلام همت دردى كشان يك رنگم                      نه آن گروه كه ازرق لباس و دل سيهند
قدم منه به خرابات جز به شرط ادب                       كه سالكان درش محرمان پادشهند

جناب عشق بلندست همتى حافظ
كه عاشقان ره بى همتان به خود ندهند

 

And my own Hafez-style poem…

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.

Points of Ink, Gasps of Breath

“All that is in the Revealed books is in the Qur’an, and all that is in the Qur’an is in the Fatihāh, and all that is in the Fatihāh is in ‘Bismi ‘Llāhi ‘r-Rahmāni ‘r-Rahīm.’

“All that is in  ‘Bismi ‘Llāhi ‘r-Rahmāni ‘r-Rahīm’ is in the letter , which itself is contained in the point that is beneath it.”

-Prophetic traditions
qtd. in Lings, M. A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century.  Islamic Texts Society, 1993 p. 148

 

Because the people of this world are in the station where forms are gathered and meanings are separated, they witness various letters as unified and letters which are of one species as numerous individual parts.  Thus when they look at the the letters:

يحبّهم و يحبّونه

(He loves them and they love him, Qur’an 5:54)

they see a unified species which is divided in its parts.  However, those who have divested themselves of this world—for whom the veil has been lifted and the clouds of doubt and blindness have dispersed from the face of their insight—[they] see these letters through inner sight in this way:

ي ح ب ه م

Then, when they ascend from this station to a higher station, they see them as tiny dots.

-Mulla Sadra Shirazi, quoting ‘Ayn al-Qudat Hamadani

qtd. in Rustom, M. The Triumph of Mercy. SUNY, 2012. p. 124

 

 

 

 


“The point and the ink are interchangeable as symbols in that writing is made up of a series of points of ink…”

 

The Letters are the signs of the ink: there is not one,
Save what the ink hath anointed; their own colour is pure illusion.
The ink’s colour it is that hath come into manifest being.
Yet it cannot be said that the ink hath departed from what it was.
The inwardness of the letters lay in the ink’s mytery,
And their outward show is through its self-determination.
They are its determinations, its activities,
And naught is there but it.  Understand thou the parable!
They are not it; say not that they are it!
To say so were wrong, and to say “it is they” were raving madness.
For it was before the letters, when not letter was;
And it remaineth, when no letter at all shall be.
Look well at each letter: thou seest it hath already perished
But for the face of the ink, that is, for the Face of His Essence,
Unto Whom All Glory and Majesty and Exaltation!
Even thus the letters, for all their outward show, are hidden,
Being overwhelmed by the ink, since their show is none other than its.
The letter addeth naught to the ink, and taketh naught from it,
But revealeth its integrality in various modes,
Without changing the ink.  Do ink and letter together make two?
Realize then the truth of my words: no being is there
Save that of ink, for him whose understanding is sound;
And wheresoe’er be the letter, there with it is always its ink.
Open thine intellect unto these parables and heed them

 

– ‘Abd al-Ghani an-Nabulusi qtd. in A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century p. 150-1


 

In one of his best known explications of the nature of things, Ibn al-‘Arabî looks at God’s creativity as an analogue of human speech. Just as we create words and sentences in the substratum of breath, so God creates the universe by articulating words in the Breath of the All-Merciful (nafas al-rahmân), which is the deployment of existence (inbisât al-wujûd); indeed, existence itself is synonymous with mercy (rahma).

 

From : Chittick, William, “Ibn Arabi”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),
<http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/ibn-arabi/>.

 

 

Let not the lies of teeth and tongue
Or dancing lips distract you from
The union of all speech in breath
A music from behind our death
All that’s spoken or that’s heard
Is but that wind inside the words
That howling, longing sigh that stirs
Our soul’s flames to ascend like birds
So this is all we have to say:
A fiery sigh when we’re apart
A gasping cry when the bright ray
Of your dark eyes pierces my heart

 

 

The echo of that sigh born from
the pregnant silence of your mouth
Flows through the world like wind and fire
Breathing all sounds in and back out
Souls like whisps of bright desire
Curl round your lips like your dark hair
Swimming in your voice’s choir
We’re all just breath, words of your prayer

 

Zen and the snowman

At the peak of my soul’s depths
I sit in silent reverie
The sun above, weather below
The vast blue breathes in, out of me

 

The Snow Man
by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

 

Hafez says…

          حافظ سخن بگوی که بر صفحه جهان    

این نقش ماند از قلمت یادگار عمر

 

But those whose lives are centered on
Your lovely mouth confess
No other thoughts than this, and think
Nothing of Nothingness

 

                  بيا و هستي حافظ ز پيش او برد
که با وجود تو کس نشنود ز من که منم

 

Come, and make sure Hafez’s being
will disappear-
Since You exist, no one will hear
Me say, “I’m here.”
 

Variations on a Theme: Emptiness

Love came and emptied me of self,
Every vein and every pore,
Made into a container to be filled by the Beloved.
Of me, only a name is left,
The rest is You my Friend, my Beloved.

-Abu Sai’d Abu’l Khayr (trans. Vraje Abramian)

from Nobody Son of Nobody.  Hohm Press, 2001

 

 

Turn me inside out and empty me
Of everything I was, am, wished to be
Crack my stiff rib’s cage and let love free
All i want is yearning yearning
AlI drink is burning, burning

 

If my heart’s your throne
make my soul your clothes
If it means I’ll touch you
play dice with my bones

 

The dark light of your flashing eyes
Turns my midnight hair star-white
The lightning of your rapturous stare
Steals away my sense and sight
Your wine-warm voice poured in my ear
Melts my bones to milk and foam
Your fiery tongue laps up my soul
Out from my body’s spinning bowl

 

 

Variations on a Theme: Heaven and Hell

My Beloved, this torture and pain
I suffer because I am so addicted to Your Beauty.
People ask me whether I prefer Your
company to being in heaven.
Heedless fools, what would heaven itself mean
without the Friend’s Presence?

-Abu Sa’id Abu’l Khayr (trans. Vraje Abramian)

from Nobody Son of Nobody.  Hohm Press, 2001

 

 

Selected Lyrics:

No hay nadie en este mundo
que te quiera más que yo
debajo tierra me meto
donde no me vea ni Dios

Yo no me he muerto de pena
porque no supe sentir
y a mi corto entendimiento
le agradezco al vivir
yo no me he muerto de pena
porque no supe sentir

Translation:

There’s no one in the world
who loves you more than me
I just want to go underground
where even God can’t see me

I have not died of grief
Because I could not feel
In my short-sightedness,l
I am grateful to live
I have not died of grief
Just because I could not feel

 

 

 

When she looks at me I burn
When she turns away I freeze
Gaze into her eyes to learn
The cause of my disease
Her beauty overwhelms me
I can’t look or turn away
This wine is fire from the sea
And lightning from the waves
Just one drop has left me blind
And her dark glance is an eclipse
Even angels run and hide
And earthquakes quiver on her lips
Her pupils have stolen my mind
Her smile makes the stars spin
But in her fatal face I find
Love’s flames are my true heaven

 

You keep dancing on my lips
Long, long after we have kissed
Is what I learn so far from you
worth what I forget of us?
What could I know beside your truth?
What’s all I earn beside your trust?
Heaven is to sit beside you
Your bedside’s where love quickens dust
Where the lips of dawn and dusk
Catch the moon and make her blush

 

Variations on a Theme: Alone with Love

In music and words…

 

O my Lord,
the stars glitter
and the eyes of men are closed.
Kings have locked their doors
and each lover is alone with his love.

Here, I am alone with you.

-Rabi’a al-Basri (trans. Charles Upton)

 

 

 

The lovers have all gone to bed
And I’m alone with you
I’ve said goodnight to all my friends
And I’m alone with you
The stars are spinning overhead
And I’m alone with you
The wind is dancing through trees’ heads
And I’m alone with you
Thought fall like leaves, all dry and dead
And I’m alone with you
The dawn breeze comes with plumes of red
And I’m alone with you
Sun rises like a loaf of bread
And I’m alone with you
The day returns, loud, well-rested
And I’m alone with you
And though it seems like we’ve parted
 I’m still alone with you
In every joy that I’ve tasted
I’m still alone with you
Each moment seized or just wasted
I’m still alone with you
As life runs back where it started
I’m still alone with you
Then what’s the point of this? Love said
To be alone with you

 

Variations on a theme (with words and without)

 With words:

My Beloved don’t be heartless with me
Your Presence is my only cure
How can I be left with neither a heart nor my Beloved?
Either give me back my heart, or do not deny me
Your Presence

-Abu Sai’d Abu’l Khayr (trans. Vraje Abramian)

from Nobody Son of Nobody.  Hohm Press, 2001

 

Without words:

Arc ‘Antiga, a beautiful Portuguese guitar solo from Cristina Branco’s album Murmúrios, below:

Arc’ antiga

 

With Words (my own):

The tongue is the face of the heart
And its mouth the heart of the face
Your face has swallowed my heart
So all I talk about is your face
So give me back my poor heart
Or take pity on its sad face
Tongues were made for more than talking
Stop flirting and let me taste

 

At last, a cure for all my pains
Alas, it’s pain without a cure
A sickness that treats all disease
A ravishing that made me pure
A wound that heals all other scars
A wine that made my head sober
An ocean that dried all my tears
A birth that meant my life’s over
I fell ill heartfirst in this love
There’s neither hope nor remedy
A prison that broke all life’s bars
My friend, please don’t let me be free
A poison that made me immune
To health and all I once thought best
A death in life and life in death
Came to me on your gentle breath

 

You forged these chains and set me free
I’m your dream, you’re my memory
Don’t forget me, I beg you please
My darkness, light, health and disease
My love is yours, so yours is mine
So lift my ore out of this mine
Don’t leave me shrouded in my mind
Love flows behind the clouds of time
Only my death will end our war
My perfections stain your faults
My waves will crash upon your shore
Until your rocks become my salt

 

Your memory’s an old war wound
My heart aches when it rains
My eyes want to cry with the sky
But fill with silent pain
The softest, sweetest hurt I know
Seeing your face, hearing your name
How can you seem so far away
When it’s your love that fills my veins?