In Jerusalem…

Mahmoud Darwish

In Jerusalem

TRANSLATED BY FADY JOUDAH
In Jerusalem, and I mean within the ancient walls,
I walk from one epoch to another without a memory
to guide me. The prophets over there are sharing
the history of the holy … ascending to heaven
and returning less discouraged and melancholy, because love
and peace are holy and are coming to town.
I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?
I walk in my sleep. I stare in my sleep. I see
no one behind me. I see no one ahead of me.
All this light is for me. I walk. I become lighter. I fly
then I become another. Transfigured. Words
sprout like grass from Isaiah’s messenger
mouth: “If you don’t believe you won’t be safe.”
I walk as if I were another. And my wound a white
biblical rose. And my hands like two doves
on the cross hovering and carrying the earth.
I don’t walk, I fly, I become another,
transfigured. No place and no time. So who am I?
I am no I in ascension’s presence. But I
think to myself: Alone, the prophet Muhammad
spoke classical Arabic. “And then what?”
Then what? A woman soldier shouted:
Is that you again? Didn’t I kill you?
I said: You killed me … and I forgot, like you, to die.
From : https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52551/in-jerusalem
Original:

في القدس، أَعني داخلَ السُّور القديمِ،
أَسيرُ من زَمَنٍ إلى زَمَنٍ بلا ذكرى
تُصوِّبُني. فإن الأنبياءَ هناك يقتسمون
تاريخَ المقدَّس… يصعدون إلى السماء
ويرجعون أَقلَّ إحباطاً وحزناً، فالمحبَّةُ
والسلام مُقَدَّسَان وقادمان إلى المدينة.
كنت أَمشي فوق مُنْحَدَرٍ وأَهْجِسُ: كيف
يختلف الرُّواةُ على كلام الضوء في حَجَرٍ؟
أَمِنْ حَجَر ٍشحيحِ الضوء تندلعُ الحروبُ؟
أسير في نومي. أَحملق في منامي. لا
أرى أحداً ورائي. لا أرى أَحداً أمامي.
كُلُّ هذا الضوءِ لي. أَمشي. أخفُّ. أطيرُ
ثم أَصير غيري في التَّجَلِّي. تنبُتُ
الكلماتُ كالأعشاب من فم أشعيا
النِّبَويِّ: ((إنْ لم تُؤْمنوا لن تَأْمَنُوا)).
أَمشي كأنِّي واحدٌ غيْري. وجُرْحي وَرْدَةٌ
بيضاءُ إنجيليَّةٌ. ويدايَ مثل حمامتَيْنِ
على الصليب تُحلِّقان وتحملان الأرضَ.
لا أمشي، أَطيرُ، أَصيرُ غَيْري في
التجلِّي. لا مكانَ و لا زمان . فمن أَنا؟
أَنا لا أنا في حضرة المعراج. لكنِّي
أُفكِّرُ: وَحْدَهُ، كان النبيّ محمِّدٌ
يتكلِّمُ العربيَّةَ الفُصْحَى. ((وماذا بعد؟))
ماذا بعد؟ صاحت فجأة جنديّةٌ:
هُوَ أَنتَ ثانيةً؟ أَلم أَقتلْكَ؟
قلت: قَتَلْتني… ونسيتُ، مثلك، أن أَموت.

 

Tamim Al-Barghouti

In Jerusalem:
(Translated by Houssem Ben Lazreg in Transference 5(1) Fall 2017:61-65)

We passed by the home of the beloved
but the enemy’s laws and wall turned us away
I said to myself, “Maybe, that is a blessing”
What will you see in Jerusalem when you visit?
You will see all that you can’t stand
when her houses become visible from all sides When meeting her beloved, not every soul rejoices Nor does every absence harm
If they are delighted when meeting before departure such joy cannot remain kindled
For once your eyes have seen Jerusalem
You will only see her, wherever you look.
In Jerusalem, a greengrocer from Georgia,
annoyed with his wife,
thinks of going on vacation or painting his house
In Jerusalem, a middle-aged man from Upper Manhattan holds a Torah and teaches Polish boys its commandments In Jerusalem, an Ethiopian policeman
seals off a street in the marketplace,
A machine gun hangs from the shoulder of a teenage settler, A person wearing a yarmulke
bows at the Wailing Wall,
Blonde European tourists who don’t see Jerusalem at all but spend most of the time taking pictures of each other

beside a Palestinian woman selling radishes in public squares all day long

In Jerusalem, there are walls of basil
In Jerusalem, there are barricades of concrete
In Jerusalem, the soldiers marched with heavy boots over the clouds
In Jerusalem, we were forced to pray on the asphalt

In Jerusalem, everyone is there but you.
And History turned to me and smiled:
“Have you really thought that you would overlook them
and see others?
Here they are in front of you;
They are the text while you are the footnote and margin
O son, have you thought that your visit would remove, from the city’s face, the thick veil of her present, so that you may see what you desire?
In Jerusalem, everyone is there but you.
Jerusalem is the wandering deer
As fate sentenced it to departure
You still chase her since she bid you farewell
O son, calm down for a while, I see that you began to faint” In Jerusalem, everyone is there but you.
O historian, wait,
The city has two timelines:
One foreign, serene, with steady steps as if it is walking asleep

The other wears a mask and walks secretly with caution
And Jerusalem knows herself,
Ask the people there, everyone will guide you
Everything in the city
has a tongue which, when you ask, will reply
In Jerusalem, the crescent becomes more curved like an embryo

Bending towards other crescents over the domes
And over the years, their relation developed to be like a father to a son

In Jerusalem, the stones of the buildings are quoted from the Bible and the Quran
In Jerusalem, beauty is octagonal and blue

On top of it, lies a golden dome
that looks like, I think, a convex mirror

Reflecting the face of the heavens
Playing with it, drawing it near
Distributing the sky, like aid in a siege for those in need

If people appeal to God after Friday sermon
In Jerusalem, the sky is shared by everyone,

We protect it and it protects us
And we carry it on our shoulders
If time oppresses its moons.
In Jerusalem, the marble columns are dark
as though their veins were smoke
Windows, high in mosques and churches,
took dawn by hand, showing him how to paint with colors

He says, “like this”
but the windows reply, “no, like this”
And after long debate, they compromise
as the dawn is free when outside the threshold

But if he wants to enter through God’s Windows

He has to abide by their rules
In Jerusalem there’s a school built by a Mameluke who came from beyond the river,
was sold at a slave market in Isfahan
to a merchant from Baghdad, who traveled to Aleppo,
and gave the Mameluke to Aleppo’s Prince
Fearing the blueness in the Mameluke’s left eye,
the Prince gave him to a caravan heading for Egypt
where soon, he became the vanquisher of the Moguls and the Sovereign Sultan
In Jerusalem, the scent of Babylon and India
are at an herbalist’s shop in Khan El Zeit
I swear, it is a scent with a language that you will understand if you listen;

It says to me
when tear gas canisters are being fired
“Don’t worry”
And as the gas wanes, that scent fills the air again and says:
“You see?”
In Jerusalem, contradictions get along, and wonders cannot be denied

People check them out like pieces of old and new fabric
and miracles there are tangible.
In Jerusalem, if you shake hands with an old man or touch a building you will find, engraved on your palm, my friend, a poem or two
In Jerusalem, despite successive calamities
a breeze of innocence and childhood fills the air
And you can see doves fly high
announcing, between two shots, the birth of an independent state

In Jerusalem, the rows of graves
are the lines of the city’s history while the book is the soil
Everyone has passed through
For Jerusalem welcomes all visitors, whether disbelievers or believers

Walk through, and read the headstones in all languages
You will find the Africans, the Europeans, the Kipchaks, the Slavs, the Bosniaks, the Tatars, the Turks, the believers, the disbelievers,
the poor and the rich, the hermits, and the miscreants
Here lie all sorts of people that ever walked the earth
They were the footnotes of the book, now they are the main text before us.
Is it just for us that the city has become too small?
Oh chronicler! What made you exclude us?
Re-write and think again, for I see that you made a grave mistake
The eyes close, then look again
The driver of the yellow car heads north, away from the city’s gates. And now Jerusalem is behind us
I could glance at her through the right wing-mirror
Her colors have changed before the sunset
Then, a smile sneaked onto my face
and said to me when I looked close and careful,
“Oh you who weep behind the wall, are you a fool?
Have you lost your mind?
Do not weep because you were excluded from the main text
O Arab, do not weep, and know for sure
that whomever is in Jerusalem
It is only you I see.”

Original:
مَرَرْنا عَلــى دارِ الحبيب فرَدَّنا
عَنِ الدارِ قانونُ الأعادي وسورُهافَقُلْتُ لنفســي رُبما هِيَ نِعْمَةٌ
فماذا تَرَى في القدسِ حينَ تَزُورُها
تَرَى كُلَّ ما لا تستطيعُ احتِمالَهُ
إذا ما بَدَتْ من جَانِبِ الدَّرْبِ دورُهاوما كلُّ نفسٍ حينَ تَلْقَى حَبِيبَها تُـسَرُّ
ولا كُلُّ الغـِيابِ يُضِيرُهافإن سـرَّها قبلَ الفِراقِ لِقاؤُه
فليسَ بمأمـونٍ عليها سـرُورُهامتى تُبْصِرِ القدسَ العتيقةَ مَرَّةً
فسوفَ تراها العَيْنُ حَيْثُ تُدِيرُها***
في القدسِ، بائعُ خضرةٍ من جورجيا برمٌ بزوجته
يفكرُ في قضاءِ إجازةٍ أو في في طلاءِ البيتْفي القدس، توراةٌ وكهلٌ جاءَ من مَنْهاتِنَ العُليا يُفَقَّهُ فتيةَ البُولُونِ في أحكامها
في القدسِ شرطيٌ من الأحباشِ يُغْلِقُ شَارِعاً في السوقِ..
رشَّاشٌ على مستوطنٍ لم يبلغِ العشرينَ،
قُبَّعة تُحَيِّي حائطَ المبكَىوسياحٌ من الإفرنجِ شُقْرٌ لا يَرَوْنَ القدسَ إطلاقاً
تَراهُم يأخذونَ لبعضهم صُوَرَاًمَعَ امْرَأَةٍ تبيعُ الفِجْلَ في الساحاتِ طُولَ اليَومْفي القدسِ دَبَّ الجندُ مُنْتَعِلِينَ فوقَ الغَيمْفي القدسِ صَلَّينا على الأَسْفَلْتْ
في القدسِ مَن في القدسِ إلا أنْتْ!***
وَتَلَفَّتَ التاريخُ لي مُتَبَسِّماً
أَظَنَنْتَ حقاً أنَّ عينَك سوفَ تخطئهم،! وتبصرُ غيرَهم
ها هُم أمامَكَ، مَتْنُ نصٍّ أنتَ حاشيةٌ عليهِ وَهَامشٌ

أَحَسبتَ أنَّ زيارةً سَتُزيحُ عن وجهِ المدينةِ، يا بُنَيَّ، حجابَ واقِعِها السميكَ
لكي ترى فيها هَواكْ
في القدسِ كلًّ فتى سواكْ

وهي الغزالةُ في المدى، حَكَمَ الزمانُ بِبَيْنِها
ما زِلتَ تَرْكُضُ إثْرَهَا مُذْ وَدَّعَتْكَ بِعَيْنِها
رفقاً بِنَفسكَ ساعةً إني أراكَ وَهَنْتْ
في القدسِ من في القدسِ إلا أَنْتْ

***
يا كاتبَ التاريخِ مَهْلاً، فالمدينةُ دهرُها دهرانِ

دهر أجنبي مطمئنٌ لا يغيرُ خطوَه وكأنَّه يمشي خلالَ النومْ
وهناك دهرٌ، كامنٌ متلثمٌ يمشي بلا صوتٍ حِذار القومْ

والقدس تعرف نفسها..
إسأل هناك الخلق يدْلُلْكَ الجميعُ
فكلُّ شيء في المدينة
ذو لسانٍ، حين تَسأَلُهُ، يُبينْ

في القدس يزدادُ الهلالُ تقوساً مثلَ الجنينْ
حَدْباً على أشباهه فوقَ القبابِ
تَطَوَّرَتْ ما بَيْنَهم عَبْرَ السنينَ عِلاقةُ الأَبِ بالبَنينْ

في القدس أبنيةٌ حجارتُها اقتباساتٌ من الإنجيلِ والقرآنْ

في القدس تعريفُ الجمالِ مُثَمَّنُ الأضلاعِ أزرقُ،
فَوْقَهُ، يا دامَ عِزُّكَ، قُبَّةٌ ذَهَبِيَّةٌ،
تبدو برأيي، مثل مرآة محدبة ترى وجه السماء مُلَخَّصَاً فيها
تُدَلِّلُها وَتُدْنِيها

تُوَزِّعُها كَأَكْياسِ المعُونَةِ في الحِصَارِ لمستَحِقِّيها
إذا ما أُمَّةٌ من بعدِ خُطْبَةِ جُمْعَةٍ مَدَّتْ بِأَيْدِيها

***

وفي القدس السماءُ تَفَرَّقَتْ في الناسِ تحمينا ونحميها
ونحملُها على أكتافِنا حَمْلاً إذا جَارَت على أقمارِها الأزمانْ

في القدس أعمدةُ الرُّخامِ الداكناتُ
كأنَّ تعريقَ الرُّخامِ دخانْ

ونوافذٌ تعلو المساجدَ والكنائس،
أَمْسَكَتْ بيدِ الصُّباحِ تُرِيهِ كيفَ النقشُ بالألوانِ،

وَهْوَ يقول: ?لا بل هكذا?،
فَتَقُولُ: ?لا بل هكذا?،

حتى إذا طال الخلافُ تقاسما
فالصبحُ حُرٌّ خارجَ العَتَبَاتِ لَكِنْ
إن أرادَ دخولَها
فَعَلَيهِ أن يَرْضَى بحُكْمِ نوافذِ الرَّحمنْ

***
في القدس مدرسةٌ لمملوكٍ أتى مما وراءَ النهرِ،
باعوهُ بسوقِ نِخَاسَةٍ في أصفهانَلتاجرٍ من أهلِ بغدادٍ
أتى حلباً فخافَ أميرُها من زُرْقَةٍ في عَيْنِهِ اليُسْرَى،
فأعطاهُ لقافلةٍ أتت مصراً
فأصبحَ بعدَ بضعِ سنينَ غَلاَّبَ المغولِ وصاحبَ السلطانْ

في القدس رائحةٌ تُلَخِّصُ بابلاً والهندَ في دكانِ عطارٍ بخانِ الزيتْ
واللهِ رائحةٌ لها لغةٌ سَتَفْهَمُها إذا أصْغَيتْ

وتقولُ لي إذ يطلقونَ قنابل الغاز المسيِّلِ للدموعِ عَلَيَّ: ?لا تحفل بهم?
وتفوحُ من بعدِ انحسارِ الغازِ، وَهْيَ تقولُ لي: ?أرأيتْ!?

في القدس يرتاحُ التناقضُ، والعجائبُ ليسَ ينكرُها العِبادُ،
كأنها قِطَعُ القِمَاشِ يُقَلِّبُونَ قَدِيمها وَجَدِيدَها،
والمعجزاتُ هناكَ تُلْمَسُ باليَدَيْنْ

في القدس لو صافحتَ شيخاً أو لمستَ بنايةً
لَوَجَدْتَ منقوشاً على كَفَّيكَ نَصَّ قصيدَةٍ
يا بْنَ الكرامِ أو اثْنَتَيْنْ

في القدس، رغمَ تتابعِ النَّكَباتِ، ريحُ براءةٍ في الجوِّ، ريحُ طُفُولَةٍ،
فَتَرى الحمامَ يَطِيرُ يُعلِنُ دَوْلَةً في الريحِ بَيْنَ رَصَاصَتَيْنْ

***
في القدس تنتظمُ القبورُ، كأنهنَّ سطورُ تاريخِ المدينةِ والكتابُ ترابُها
الكل مرُّوا من هُنا

فالقدسُ تقبلُ من أتاها كافراً أو مؤمنا
أُمرر بها واقرأ شواهدَها بكلِّ لغاتِ أهلِ الأرضِ

فيها الزنجُ والإفرنجُ والقِفْجَاقُ والصِّقْلابُ والبُشْنَاقُ
والتتارُ والأتراكُ، أهلُ الله والهلاك، والفقراءُ والملاك، والفجارُ والنساكُ،
فيها كلُّ من وطئَ الثَّرى

كانوا الهوامشَ في الكتابِ فأصبحوا نَصَّ المدينةِ قبلنا

يا كاتب التاريخِ ماذا جَدَّ فاستثنيتنا
يا شيخُ فلتُعِدِ الكتابةَ والقراءةَ مرةً أخرى، أراك لَحَنْتْ

العين تُغْمِضُ، ثمَّ تنظُرُ، سائقُ السيارةِ الصفراءِ، مالَ بنا شَمالاً نائياً عن بابها
والقدس صارت خلفنا

والعينُ تبصرُها بمرآةِ اليمينِ،
تَغَيَّرَتْ ألوانُها في الشمسِ، مِنْ قبلِ الغيابْ

إذ فاجَأَتْني بسمةٌ لم أدْرِ كيفَ تَسَلَّلَتْ للوَجْهِ
قالت لي وقد أَمْعَنْتُ ما أَمْعنْتْ

يا أيها الباكي وراءَ السورِ، أحمقُ أَنْتْ؟
أَجُنِنْتْ؟

لا تبكِ عينُكَ أيها المنسيُّ من متنِ الكتابْ
لا تبكِ عينُكَ أيها العَرَبِيُّ واعلمْ أنَّهُ

في القدسِ من في القدسِ لكنْ
لا أَرَى في القدسِ إلا أَنْت.

June Jordan

Apologies to All the People in Lebanon

Dedicated to the 600,000 Palestinian men, women, and children who lived in Lebanon from 1948-1983.

I didn’t know and nobody told me and what
could I do or say, anyway?
They said you shot the London Ambassador
and when that wasn’t true
they said so
what
They said you shelled their northern villages
and when U.N. forces reported that was not true
because your side of the cease-fire was holding
since more than a year before
they said so
what
They said they wanted simply to carve
a 25 mile buffer zone and then
they ravaged your
water supplies your electricity your
hospitals your schools your highways and byways all
the way north to Beirut because they said this
was their quest for peace
They blew up your homes and demolished the grocery
stores and blocked the Red Cross and took away doctors
to jail and they cluster-bombed girls and boys
whose bodies
swelled purple and black into twice the original size
and tore the buttocks from a four month old baby
and then
they said this was brilliant
military accomplishment and this was done
they said in the name of self-defense they said
that is the noblest concept
of mankind isn’t that obvious?
They said something about never again and then
they made close to one million human beings homeless
in less than three weeks and they killed or maimed
40,000 of your men and your women and your children
But I didn’t know and nobody told me and what
could I do or say, anyway?
They said they were victims. They said you were
Arabs.
They called      your apartments and gardens      guerrilla
strongholds.
They called      the screaming devastation
that they created       the rubble.
Then they told you to leave, didn’t they?
Didn’t you read the leaflets that they dropped
from their hotshot fighter jets?
They told you to go.
One hundred and thirty-five thousand
Palestinians in Beirut and why
didn’t you take the hint?
Go!
There was the Mediterranean: You
could walk into the water and stay
there.
What was the problem?
I didn’t know and nobody told me and what
could I do or say, anyway?
Yes, I did know it was the money I earned as a poet that
paid
for the bombs and the planes and the tanks
that they used to massacre your family
But I am not an evil person
The people of my country aren’t so bad
You can expect but so much
from those of us who have to pay taxes and watch
American TV
You see my point;
I’m sorry.
I really am sorry.
From : https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48757/apologies-to-all-the-people-in-lebanon
Lisa Suhair Majaj
https://beladi.org/2021/05/21/conversation-a-poem-by-lisa-suhair-majaj/
Yehuda Ha-Levi:
My Heart Is In The East
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
My heart is in the east, and the rest of me at the edge of the west.
How can I taste the food I eat? How can it give me pleasure? 
How can I keep my promise now, or fulfill the vows I’ve made
While Zion remains in the Cross’s reign1, and I in Arab chains? 
With pleasure I would leave behind all the good things of Spain,
If only I could gaze on the dust of our ruined Holy Place.
Original:
לִבִּי בְמִזְרָח וְאָנֹכִי בְּסוֹף מַעֲרָב
אֵיךְ אֶטְעֲמָה אֵת אֲשֶׁר אֹכַל וְאֵיךְ יֶעֱרָב
אֵיכָה אֲשַׁלֵּם נְדָרַי וָאֱסָרַי, בְּעוֹד
צִיּוֹן בְּחֶבֶל אֱדוֹם וַאֲנִי בְּכֶבֶל עֲרָב
יֵקַל בְּעֵינַי עֲזֹב כָּל טוּב סְפָרַד, כְּמוֹ
יֵקַר בְּעֵינַי רְאוֹת עַפְרוֹת דְּבִיר נֶחֱרָב.
1-The Crusaders had taken Jerusalem (1099) at the time of the poem’s composition and forbidden Jews to live there.
http://poemsintranslation.blogspot.com/2014/08/yehuda-halevi-my-heart-is-in-east-from.html

Hard times

Skip James’ haunting depression-era blues song seems to only get more relevant with each passing day…

Lyrics:

Hard times is here and everywhere you go
Times are harder than ever been before
You know that people, they are are driftin’ from door to door
But you can’t find no heaven, I don’t care where they go
People, if I ever can get up off of this old hard killin’ floor
Lord, I’ll never get down this low no more
When you hear me singin’ this old lonesome song
People, you know these hard times can last us so long
You know, you say you had money, you better be sure
Lord, these hard times gon’ kill you, just drag on slow

Night

“The Night” by Henry Vaughan

 There is in God, some say,
A deep but dazzling darkness, as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
             See not all clear.
    O for that night! where I in Him
    Might live invisible and dim!

 

Rumi

Translation:

Truth is the Night of Power,
hidden amid the other nights
so the soul may try each one.
Not all nights are the Night of Power,
yet all nights aren’t empty of it either.

 

Original:

Haqq Shab-e Qadrast dar shab-hâ nehân
tâ konad jân har shabi-râ emtehân
Nah hameh shab-hâ bovad Qadr ay javân
nah hameh shab-hâ bovad khâli az ân

حق شب قدراست در شبها نهان
تا كند جان هر شب را امتهان
نه همه شبها بود قدر اط جوان
نه همه شبها بود خال از ان

 

— Mathnawi II: 2935-2936
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
“Rumi: Daylight”
Threshold Books, 1994

Shabistari

The Rose Garden of Mystery (verses 122-130)

Reason’s light applied to the Essence of Lights
is like the eye of the head looking at the brilliance of the Sun
when the object seen is very close to the eye
The eye is darkened so that it cannot see it
This blackness, if you know it, is the very light of Being
in the land of darkness is the fountain of life
Since the darkness destroys the light of vision
Give up loooking, for this is no place for looking
What connection has dust with the pure world?
Its perception is the inability to perceive perception
What shall I say? since this saying is fine,
“A bright night in the midst of a dark day”
In this place of witnessing, which is the light of manifestation
 I have much to say, but silence is best.

 

Original:

بود نور خرد در ذات انور              به سان چشم سر در چشمه خور
چو مبصر با بصر نزدیک گردد              بصر ز ادراک آن تاریک گردد
سیاهی گر بدانی نور ذات است              به تاریکی درون آب حیات است
سیه جز قابض نور بصر نیست               نظر بگذار کین جای نظر نیست
چه نسبت خاک را با عالم پاک        که ادراک است عجز از درک ادراک
سیه رویی ز ممکن در دو عالم                       جدا هرگز نشد والله اعلم
سواد الوجه فی الدارین درویش                 سواد اعظم آمد بی کم و بیش
چه می‌گویم که هست این نکته باریک              شب روشن میان روز تاریک
در این مشهد که انوار تجلی است           سخن دارم ولی نا گفتن اولی است

 

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Glances of Love

Two of my favorite Nusrat classics, Tumhein Dillagi Bhool and Mast Naszron Say illuminate each other nicely:

Tumhein dillagi bhool

Translation (modified from Sur Street) and transliteration:

Chorus:

Tumhein dillagi bhool jani pare gi
Tumhein dillagi bhool jani pare gi
Muhabbat ki raahon mein aa kar to dekho

You will have to forget about playing games
You will have to forget about playing games
Come into the ways of love and see

 

Tarapne pe mere na phir tum hanso ge
Tarapne pe mere na phir tum hanso ge
Kabhi dil kissi se laga kar to dekho

Then you will not laugh at my torment
Then you will not laugh at my torment
Give your heart to someone once and see

 

Honton ke paas aye hansi, kya majaal hai
Dil ka muamla hai koi dillagi nahin

A smile dare not creep over the lips…
This is a matter of the heart, not a mere game

 

Zakhm pe zakhm kha ke ji
Apne lahoo ke ghont pi
Aah na kar labon ko si
Ishq hai dillagi nahin

Take wound upon wound, yet live
Drink sips of your own blood
Drink sips of your own blood
Let out not a single sigh, seal your lips
This is love, not a game

 

Dil laga kar pata chaley ga tumhein
Aashiqui dillagi nahin hoti

When you have given your heart you will realize
Love is not a game

 

Kuch khel nahin hai ishq ki laag
Paani na samajh ye aag hai aag

Love is not child’s play
Don’t think of it as water, this is fire!

 

Khoon rulaye gi ye lagi dil ki
Khel samjho na dillagi dil ki

It makes you shed bloody tears
Don’t think of it as child’s play

 

Yeh ishq nahin aasaan
Bas itna samajh leejay
Ik aag ka darya hai
Aur doob ke jaana hai

This love is not easy
think of it this way:
It is a river of fire
and to cross you must drown!

 

Wafaaon ki hum se tawaqo nahin hai
Wafaaon ki hum se tawaqo nahin hai
Magar ek baar aazma kar to dekho
Zamanay ko apna bana kar to dekha
Humein bhi tum apna bana kar to dekho

You may not expect me to be faithful
You may not expect me to be faithful
But you have to try me at least once
You gave yourself to the whole world
Now try making me your own!

 

Khuda ke liya chor do ab yeh parda…

Rukh se naqab utha, ke bari der ho gayi
Mahol ko tilaawat-e-quraan kiye hoye
Khuda ke liye chor do ab yeh parda…

For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…
Lift the veil now, it has been long since
the world burst into songs of praise…
For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…

 

Hum na samjhe teri nazron ka taqaza kya hai
Kabhi parda kabhi jalwa yeh tamasha kya hai
Khuda ke liye chor do ab yeh parda…

I couldn’t understand the meaning of your glace
Withdrawn this moment, and open the next, what is this play?
For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…

 

Jan-e-jan hum se uljhan nahin dekhi jaati
Khuda ke liye chor do ab yeh parda…

My darling, I cannot bear to see this struggle now
For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…

 

Khuda ke liya chor do ab yeh parda
Keh hain aaj hum tum nahin ghair koi
Shab-e-wasl bhi hai hijaab iss kadar kyon
Zara rukh se aanchal utha kar to dekho

For God’s sake, reveal yourself now…
For you and I are strangers no more
Why the veil on the night of the union?
Uncover your face and look up now…

 

Jafaaein buhat kien buhat zulm dhaye
Kabhi ik nigah-e-karam iss taraf bhi
Humesha huay dekh kar mujh ko barham
Kissi din zara muskura kar to dekho

So much oppression, so much cruelty
Perhaps a kind glance this way now?
Forever my sight offended you
Perhaps direct a smile my way now?

 

Jo ulfat mein har ek sitam hai gawara
Yeh sab kuch hai paas-e-wafa tum se warna
Satate ho din raat jiss tarha mujh ko
Kissi ghair ko youn sata kar to dekho

In love, I have borne every wound inflicted
All of this out of loyalty to you
The way that you tease me day and night…
Go tease another and see what happens!

 

Agarche kissi baat par woh khafa hain
To acha yehi hai tum apni si kar lo
Woh maanein na mannein yeh marzi hai unki
Magar un ko pur-nam mana kar to dekho

Though she seems upset about something
Perhaps it is better to just move on
To accept me or not, that is her will
But try to convince her with all your passion!

 

Tumhein dillagi bhool jani pare gi
Muhabbat ki raahon mein aa kar to dekho

You will have to forget about playing games
Come into the ways of love and see

 

 

Mast Nazron Se Allah Bacchaye

Translation (from Music from Pakistan and this site)

Entire life spent in splendor, it need not be
Every night of sorrow has a dawn, it need not be
Slumber can arise in a bed of pain, in  the arms of my love, it need not be
Fire is considered by the moths as child’s play, every moth is afraid of its fate, it need not be
A shaykh who prays to god in the mosque, his prostration is effective, it need not be

O God save us from the intoxicated glances! O God save us from the moon-faced ones!
Let any affliction come upon us [but] God save us from the pretty ones.

Don’t let their innocence fool you; don’t let them make you a fool
they rob with just a smile, O God save us from their spells!

Innocent appearance and innocuous talk, but there is a difference between what they say and what they mean
though their face is like that of moon, O God save us from the schemes of their hearts!

In the hearts there is a desire for beautiful companions in heaven, but they show their love of prayers [to the world].
Now, from the likes of the abstinent, O God save us from these “Godly” ones!

In their nature is infidelity, it is known by all and sundry
they beguile even the smart ones, O God save us from the innocuous ones!

Poetry by Nasir Iqbal Maikash

Original (in transliteration):

umr jalwon mein basar ho yeh zarori to nahi
her shab e gham ki sahr ho yeh zarori to nahi
neend to dard ke bistar pe bhi aa sakti hai
unki aaghosh mein sir ho yeh zarori to nahi

aag ko khail patangon ne samajh rakh hai
sub ko anjaam ka dar ho yeh zarori to nahi
shaikh karta hai jo masjid mein khuda ko sajde
iske sajdoon mein asar ho yeh zarori to nahi

Mast nazron se Allah bachaye
Mahjamalon se Allah bachaye
Mast nazron se Allah bachaye
Mahjamalon se Allah bachaye

Har bala sar pe aa jaye lekin
Husn walon se Allah bachaye

Inki maasoomiyat par na jaana
Inke dhoke mein har giz na aana
Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
In ki chalon se Allah bachaye

Inki maasoomiyat par na jaana
Inke dhoke mein har giz na aana
Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
Inki chalon se Allah bachaye

Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
Inki chalon se Allah bachaye
Loot lete hain ye, loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain

Jalakrukhi dikha kar, muskura kar loot lete hain
Nigao se nigao ko mila kar loot lete hain
Ye atchi pardadaadi hain, ye atchi dilnawazi hain
Hasa kar loot lete hain, rula kar loot lete hain

Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain

Husn waale wafa nahi karte
Ishq waale dagha nahi karte
Zulm karna to inki aadat hain
Ye kisi ka bhala nahi karte

Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Amir is raaste se jo guzrte hain woh kehte hain
Muhalla hain haseeno ka, ke ki basti hain

Ye loot lete hain, ye loot lete hain
Loot lete hain yeh muskura kar
Inki chalon se Allah bachaye

Inki fitrat mein hain be-wafaai
Jaanti hain ye saari khudaaee
Atche-atcho ko dete hain dhoka
Bhole-bhalo se Allah bachaye

Atche-atcho ko dete hain dhoka
Bhole-bhalo se Allah bachaye
Mast nazron se Allah bachaye
Mahjamalon se Allah bachaye

 

Original (inspired by the above poems)

Forget about your poetry,
forget music, and dance
This love is not a game, my friend
it’s real life, not romance
It’s serious as death again
and twice as hard to stand
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance

Since my eyes fell on your beauty
Swarms of evil eyes pursued me
I swatted them away like flies
But your one glance shot right through me
They seek my blood, I seek your heart
Because you stole mine so cruelly

Planted ‘neath your balcony
wat’ring flowers with my eyes
chasing storm clouds with my sighs
too weak to live, too strong to die

Waiting for your glance to fall
On me like a guillotine
Setting body and head free
from this wishful, hopeless dream

This love is not a river,
it’s an ocean of fire
a broad desert of ceaseless sighs,
wide skies of vast desire

And there’s no way get across,
it’s too hard to swim down
So keep away from the edge or
plunge in and burn and drown!

The candle flame has hitched a ride
on this moth bound for the sun
Climbing moonbeams to your face
your eyes become my drop’s ocean

Don’t blame me for this smoke
it was you who lit the fire
don’t complain of the heat
it’s my body on the pyre

It’s your fault that I hope, my dear
and you caused all this pain
sweet as it is, please stop playing—
I can’t take this and the blame

I dreamed that I kissed you
and I prayed I’d never wake
I heard that I missed you
and my life I tried to take

but found that you’d beat me to it
My life was yours before I knew it

Don’t leave me stumbling in the dark
With flashes of your lightning smile
Please light my path and guide my ark
have mercy on a heart beguiled!

Let me be your veil, my love
kissing your lips with every breath
Let me be your hair, above
your bright eyes, glinting dark as death

Your eyes are blinding eclipses
within these magic ellipses
See all that was, will be, and is
but only if you hush—listen!

It seems like I’m your shadow
I can’t even get away
so cast me anywhere you will
all I can do is sway

Where you fly is where I run
and where you stop is where I’m through
Waiting for high noon to come
and return me back to you

Beneath your feet is where I’m from
between your finger and your thumb
My heart is spinning, sick, struck dumb
by this love, what I—you’ve become

Forget about your poetry,
forget music, and dance
This love is not a game, my friend
it’s real life, not romance
It’s serious as death again
and twice as hard to stand
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance
Your life is but the bargained price
for stealing just a glance

She walks in beauty like the night…

One of my favorite English poems of all time is reminiscent of Sufi poetry about Layla, whose name means “night,” and who symbolizes the beloved Divine Essence/Essence of the Self.

Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

 

 

Rumi
Translation:
 You look through my two eyes, you are closer to me than myself
Your light shines brighter than the moon
Come into the garden so that the glory of the rose garden is humbled
that it may be more beautiful and blooming than a hundred gardens and rosebeds
so that the cedar will hide its height in shame
that the tongue of the lily will declare you more lily than itself
When you are kind, you are the candle of the soul, soft and pliable as wax
When you are aloof, you are more iron than iron
Do no be wild because you will meet her face to face
her charm will make you as cool and pliant as the earth
Throw away your armor and bare your chest at the moment of battle
there is no better protection nor armor than her.
That’s why in every Sufi retreat, all the openings are are sealed shut
so that from your light the house becomes more illumined

 

 

Orignal:
در دو چشم من نشین ای آن که از من منتری
تا قمر را وانمایم کز قمر روشنتری
اندرآ در باغ تا ناموس گلشن بشکند
ز آنک از صد باغ و گلشن خوشتر و گلشنتری
تا که سرو از شرم قدت قد خود پنهان کند
تا زبان اندرکشد سوسن که تو سوسنتری
وقت لطف ای شمع جان مانند مومی نرم و رام
وقت ناز از آهن پولاد تو آهنتری
چون فلک سرکش مباش ای نازنین کز ناز او
نرم گردی چون زمین گر از فلک توسنتری
زان برون انداخت جوشن حمزه وقت کارزار
کز هزاران حصن و جوشن روح را جوشنتری
زان سبب هر خلوتی سوراخ روزن را ببست
کز برای روشنی تو خانه را روشنتری

 

Ibn al-Farid

 

Translation:
Every part of me kissed her veil
With every mouth whose touch held every kiss
If she dissolved my body, she would see in every atom
each and every heart filled with each and every love

 

Original:

ويلثم مني كلّ جزء لثامها
بكلّ فم فى لثمه كلّ قبلة
فلو بسطت جسمي رأت كلّ جوهر
به كلّ قلب فيه كلّ محبة

 

Translation:

If I sought consolation, who would be there to be my guide
when in love, every leader follows my lead?
In my every limb is every yearning for her
and every longing tugs at my reins
As she bends, I imagine every hip she moves
to be a branch in a sand dune topped by the full moon
Mine is every limb filled with every inner core
wherein, when she glances, is embedded every arrow
And if she dissolved my body she would find every atom
every heart inhabited by every human love
In union with her, a year to me is but an instant,
an hour’s separation like a year.
When we met at nightfall, as the twin straight paths
between her dwelling and my tents brought us together,
We moved away a little from the tribe,
avoiding spies and slanderers with their deceitful talk
I spread my cheek upon the ground for her to walk upon
and she said, “Good news, now you may kiss my veil.”
But this my soul did not permit me, jealously
shielding her from me, for higher is my purpose
We passed the night in hope as my wish decreed
and I saw the world my kingdom and time itself my slave.

 

Translation modified from Stefan Sperl’s in Stefan Sperl, C. Shackle, Qasida Poetry in Islamic Asia and Africa

 

Original:

بمنْ أهتَدي في الحبِّ لو رُمْتُ سَلوَةً
وبي يقتَدي ، في الحبِّ ، كلُّ إمامِ

وفي كلِّ عُضوٍ فيَّ كلُّ صبابَةٍ
إليها ، وشَوْقٍ جَاذِبٍ بِزِمَامي

تَثَنَّتْ ، فَخِلْنا كلَّ عِطْفٍ تهُزُّهُ
قَضيبَ نقاً ، يَعْلُوهُ بَدْرُ تَمامِ

ولي كلُّ عُضوٍ ، فيهِ كلُّ حشىً بها
إذا ما رَنَتْ ، وَقْعٌ لكلِّ سِهامِ

ولوْ بسطتْ جسْمي رأتْ كلَّ جوهرٍ
بهِ كلُّ قلبٍ ، فيهِ كلُّ غَرامِ

وفي وَصْلِها ، عامٌ لدَيَّ كَلَحْظَةٍ
وساعَةُ هِجْرَانٍ عَلَيَّ كَعَامِ

ولمَّا تَلاقَينا عِشاءً ، وضَمَّنا
سواءُ سبيلَيْ دَارِها وخِيامي

ومِلْنا كذا شيئاً عنِ الحيِّ ، حيثُ لا
رَقيبٌ ، ولا وَاشٍ بِزَوْرِ كَلامِ

فرَشْتُ لها خَدِّي ، وِطاءً ، على الثَّرَى
فقالتْ : لكَ البُشرَى بِلَثمِ لِثامي

فما سَمَحَتْ نَفسي بذلِكَ ، غَيْرَةً
على صَوْنِها مِنِّي لِعزِّ مرامي

وبِتْنا ، كما شاءَ اقتراحي ، على المُنى
أرَى المُلكَ مُلكي والزَّمانَ غُلامي

 

Shushtari

Translation:

You seek Layla, but she reveals herself within you
You think she’s other, but she’s not other than you
And that’s a madness that is apparent to the cult of lovers
So be careful, for otherness is the essence of being cut off
Don’t you see how her beauty envelops you?
She disappears only when you reject part of yourself
“Come close to me,” you say to she who is your All
And when she loves you, she leads you to yourself
Meeting her is bliss beyond description
and none reach her, save those who see meaning without forms
I was so in love with her that I would have vanished in her love
had she not sworn that I only obey her
I concealed her from people with fantasy
After having revealed her, truly, inside my cloak.
I hid her from myself, with the robe of my worlds,
And from my envy, out of the severity of my jealousy
O Dazzling beauty! Should the light of your face
Touch the eyes of a blind man, he would see every atom
She is adorned with each and every charm and grace of beauty
And wherever she appears, she is desired by those who love.

 

Original:

أَتَطلُبُ لَيلى وَهيَ فيكَ تَجَلَّت                  وَتَحسَبُها غَيراً وَغَيرُكَ لَيسَتِ

فَذابلُهُ في مِلَّةِ الحُبِّ ظاهِرٌ                   فَكُن فَطِناً فَالغيرُ عَينُ القَطيعَةِ

أَلَم تَرَها أَلقَت عَلَيكَ جَمالَها               وَلَو لَم تَقُم بِالذاتِ مِنكَ اِضمَحَلَّتِ

تَقولُ لَها اُدنُ وَهيَ كُلَّك ثُمَّ إِن                    حَبَتكَ بِوَصلٍ أَوهَمَتكَ تَدَلَّتِ

عَزيزٌ لِقاها لا يَنالُ وِصالَها                 سِوى مَن يَرى مَعنىً بِغَيرِ هَوِيَّةِ

كَلِفت بِها حَتّى فَنِيتُ بِحُبِّها                       فَلَو أَقسَمَت أَنّيَ إِيّاها لَبَرَّتِ

وَغالَطتُ فيها الناسَ بِالوَهمِ بَعدَما                      تَبَيَّنتها حَقّاً بِداخِلِ بُردَتي

وَغَطَّيتُها عَنّي بِثَوبِ عَوالِمي                 وَعَن حاسِدي فيها لِشِدَّةِ غيرَتي

بَديعَة حُسنٍ أَو بَدا نورُ وَجهِها                 إِلى أَكمَهٍ أَضحى يَرى كُلَّ ذَرَّةِ

تحلّت بأنواع الجمال بأسرها                  فهام بها أهل الهوى حيثُ حلّت

Majnun (Niẓāmī) and John Donne

Niẓami

Translation:

And who am I — so far from you, yet near?
A singing beggar! Layla, do you hear?
Freed from life’s drudgery, my loneliness ,
Sorrow and grief for me spell happiness.
And thirsty in the painstream of delight,
I drown. Child of the sun, I starve at night.
Though parted our two loving souls combine,
For mine is all your own and yours is mine.
Two riddles to the world we represent,
One answer each the other’s deep lament.
But if our parting severs us in two,
One radiant light envelops me and you,
As from another world — though blocked and barred
What there is one, down here is forced apart.
Yet if despairing bodies separate,
Souls freely wander and communicate.
I’ll live forever — Mortal Fear, Decay,
And Death himself have ceased to hold their sway.
Sharing your life in all eternity
I’ll live if only you remain with me.

(Niẓami’s Layla and Majnun, trans. R. Gelpke)

 

John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
   And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say
   The breath goes now, and some say, No:
So let us melt, and make no noise,
   No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
‘Twere profanation of our joys
   To tell the laity our love.
Moving of th’ earth brings harms and fears,
   Men reckon what it did, and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres,
   Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull sublunary lovers’ love
   (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
   Those things which elemented it.
But we by a love so much refined,
   That our selves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
   Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls therefore, which are one,
   Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
   Like gold to airy thinness beat.
If they be two, they are two so
   As stiff twin compasses are two;
Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
   To move, but doth, if the other do.
And though it in the center sit,
   Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans and hearkens after it,
   And grows erect, as that comes home.
Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
   Like th’ other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
   And makes me end where I begun.
Niẓāmī
Fly in love as an arrow towards its target.
Love loosens the knots of being
Love is liberation form the vortex of egotism.
In love, every cup of sorrow which bites into the soul gives it new life
Many a draft bitter as poison has become in love delicious
with love for a saqi, what is there to fear from a bitter draft
However agonizing the experience, if it is for love, it is well.

(Niẓami’s Layla and Majnun, trans. R. Gelpke)

 

Shushtari—Red, Red Wine

Shushtari

I drink wine from the cup
and from myself I approach myself
In myself it is myself I love
For it is my spirit, my reality
the fine wine that fills me and quenches my thirst
I care not what others may say
I seek in myself what I already have
Drink up in good health
the vintage ancient and pure
My allusions are from me and for me, so learn
Don’t resist me, understand
I am everything, the center of totality—accept this.
Forget about him and her, let go of Zayd and Mayya
Take pleasure in loving truly
What’s passing will pass away—but my life remains
My life is not separate from my qualities
for my essence is my all and my all is my essence
My essence shines like the sun
and from myself, I approach myself
in myself, it is myself I love

Original:

I was poured a cup of timeless love
not of this world, nor of heaven
In it I became unique in my time
bearing my banner amongst men
Mine is an amazing path of love unsurpassed
How lucky I am!
Hey you who love him, [know that] the beautiful one has many followers
If you are unkind to them, what misfortune!
Far be it from you, dear ones of Najd
to cut the ties of hope between you and me

 

Original:

سقيت كأس الهوى قديما      من غير أرضى ولا سمائى
أصبحت به فريدعصرى          بين الورى حاملا لوائى
لي مذهب مذهب عجيب          في الحبّ قد فاق ياهنائى
يامن همو للجميل أهيل نجد          أن تقطعوا منكمو رجائى

 

 

My drink and my ride are sweet
and my beloved takes care of me
O my friends, forgive me
my prostration and approach
A fine and fragrant wine
all light shines forth from it
The pourer pours it
May it be my reckoning
I am drunk on love
and I have no comfort without it
Whenever I call out: “O God!”
My response is: “at your service…”

 

Original:

طَابَ نُقْلِي وَشرَابي             وحَبيبي اعتنابي
فاعْذَرُوني يا صِحابِي       في سُجُودِي واقْترابِي
خمرةٌ رَاقَ شَذاهَا           كلُّ نُورٍ مِن سَناهَا
قَامَ سَاقِيها سَقَاهَا            أجْعَلَوهَا احتِسَابِي
أنَا سَكْرانُ مِن هَواهُ           لَيْسَ لي راحٌ سواهُ
كلَّمَا نَادَيْتُ يا هُو             كان لَبَّيْكَ جَوابي

 

 

My love served me cups
of a wine unpressed
the drink of the pure
in which all things appear
I took a sip
and fell for you, o majestic!
My bride was unveiled to me
and I saw nothing but perfection
My intoxication got me drunk
as it did other men
this wine revives souls
whoever drinks it gets drunk
unveiled to me like a bride
and I saw the sun and moon
Pay attention brother, hold your tongue
and hold on to this wondrous secret
so that the veils will be lifted from you
until you see the beloved
from yourself and in yourself, she is everyhting
if you understand or have insight
Go back to your essence and dive in
but don’t stop on the slopes
the commoners will languish in heedlessness
while you see your love openly
O you ignorant in these affairs
submit to what you see:
the wine goes ’round amongst us
and every one of us is drunk
see the men with us here
present with their hearts so full
See them all dancing
the secret is manifest in them
It was for this, they gave their souls
and their night has turned to day.

 

Original:

Your love served me many cups
Its glow illumined my senses
My night turned to day
The sun is mine and the stars
My throne contains the depths
My heart is the starless sphere

 

Your love served me many cups
When I turned from myself
I saw myself unveiling what was hidden
its meaning beyond the kingdoms of men

 

Your love served me many cups
If you like, I’ll tell you true
I’m a real faqir and wanton
Shushtari is unrepentant
I drink with my friend from the cup

 

Your love served me many cups
Look for me in the monastery
You’ll see me slumped among the casks
I love wantonly the one
who revives the souls of those who join him
Your love served me many cups

 

Original:

UB 40

 

Shustari-If Loving You Is Wrong…

Shushtari

My neglect of you is reprehensible, while your love is a duty
my longing is everlasting, while union is elusive
On the tablet of my heart, your love has been marked
my tears are the ink, and beauty is the writer
The reader of my thoughts constantly recites
lessons on the signs of the beautiful one
My gaze wanders in the heaven of your beauty
its penetrating star pierces my mind
Talk about others, listening to that is forbidden
for all of me is stolen and your beauty is the thief
They said to me: repent of loving your beloved
so I replied: I repent of my neglect
The torments of love are sweet for every lover
even if, for another, they are hard and never-ending

 

Translation modified from: L.M. Alvarez. Abu’l-Hasan Shushtari: Songs of Love and Devotion. p. 55

 

Original:

سُلُوِّيَ مكروهٌ وحُبكَ واجبٌ               وشوقِي مقيمٌ والتَّواصلُ غائبُ

وفي لوح قلبي من وِدَادكِ أسطرٌ            وَدمعي مِدادٌ مثل ما الحسن كاتبُ

وقارىء فكري لْلمحَاسِن تالياً               على دَرْس آيات الجمالِ يواظبُ

أُنَزِّهُ طَرفي في سماء جَمالكمْ                    لِثاقب ذِهني نَجمُها هو ثاقبُ

حَديثُ سواكَ السمع عنهُ محَّرمٌ                    فَكُلِّيَ مسلوبٌ وحسنكَ سالبُ

يقولونَ لي تبْ عن هوى من تُحبُّهُ                 فقلتُ عن السلوان إِنِّيَ تائبُ

عَذابُ الهوى عذبٌ على كل عَاشِق       وإِن كان عندَ الغير صعبٌ وواصبُ

 

 

Bill Withers

 

Luther Ingram

Natural Mystic

Shushtari

Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural
Natural, Natural, ay By God, Natural

 

A poor man like me, with a begging bag around my neck
My heart is free of any care
And I like people who are light-hearted
Such is the natural, he is liked by every natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

First thing in the morning, when I go out to work
I open my mouth and stretch out my hand
And for me, if I saw my granddad, who is not natural
For me, leaving him be, is only natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I cover my body with needle and thread
of rough wool, which, for me, is a lot
“Who is that guy?” the people ask, bewildered
Still I’m just natural, loved by every Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

My head is shaved and I walk around dazed
I beg in the market or at the mansions
Barefoot, walking the earth, saying: “Give for God’s sake,
some natural bread, to a natural man.”
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I might sit down and not want to talk
I might lie on the earth as my bed
I graze on the earth’s grass, living well
The Natural one is loved by every Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I have a begging bag and a sea-shell
And a pot hung on the end of a stick
And my head is polished like a guitar
I walk naturally, naturally used to poverty
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

And when I stop at a town or market, I see the people come up to me
like brothers, their speech is well-intended
You see the Natural welcoming the Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I don’t fake anything, and I have no rule
I don’t crave food or clothes
and this position, is what every hypocrite needs
A natural poor man, loved by every natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I know no jugde nor ruler
that’s more noble and natural for me
that’s how the high levels are described
A natural heart, in this state it is natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

Apart from these deeds, things are incomplete
Whoever humbles himself before a vizier or Sultan
Is arrogant and confused
His garment is natural, and by God, he is natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

Tearing the two sleeves, by this I mean, resurrection
Casting the two worlds from my heart
And I take off my two shoes to arrive at the Presence
Abandoning the unnatural is, for me, natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

I have a sitting mat that is pure like my heart
and a presence of intimacy with which I polish my cup
and a bunch of bags, a faqīr murabbī*
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural
Natural, Natural, ay, by God, Natural

 

*A poor man (Sufi) who trains others.

 

Original:

 

Bob Marley

Lyrics:

There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air
If you listen carefully now you will hear
This could be the first trumpet
Might as well be the last
Many more will have to suffer
Many more will have to die
Don’t ask me why

 

Things are not the way they used to be
I won’t tell no lie
One and all got to face reality now

 

Though I try to find the answer
To all the questions they ask
Though I know it’s impossible
To go living through the past
Don’t tell no lie

 

There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air
Can’t keep them down
If you listen carefully now you will hear
Such a natural mystic
Blowing through the air

 

This could be the first trumpet
Might as well be the last
Many more will have to suffer
Many more will have to die
Don’t ask me why

There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air
I won’t tell no lie
If you listen carefully now, you will hear
There’s a natural mystic
Blowing through the air

 

Lyrics:

Old Twinkling Lee
Can’t see the right roads when the streets are paved
The old slave mill, might grind slow
But it grinds fine… yeah

[Verse 1]
African Herbsman, why linger on?
Just concentrate cuz heaven lives on
Retired slaveman, will look with a scorn
With a transplanted heart

[Bridge – Bob Marley and the Wailers]

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
The remembrance… of today… is the sad feeling of tomorrow…

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
Oh, oh yeah

[Verse 2]
African Herbsman, seize your time
I’m taking illusion on the edge of my mind
I’m taking losers down through my life
Down through my life, yeah

[Bridge – Bob Marley and the Wailers]

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
Did they part? Yes they part!
In remembrance of today…

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part

[Repeat Verse 1]

[Bridge – Bob Marley and the Wailers]

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
In remembrance, of today, brings sad feelings of tomorrow

[The Wailers]
Yes how quick we have to part

[Bob]
Believe me oh, oh lord I praise

African Herbsman
African Herbsman
African, African Herbsman

Chuang Tzu

 

The flowing of the stream does nothing, but follows its nature
The perfect man does the same with regard to virtue
He does nothing to cultivate it, but all is affected by its presence
He is like the height of Heaven: natural
or the solidity of the Earth
or the brightness of sun and moon—all-natural
There is no need to cultivate this.

 

What is meant by ‘the True Man?’ The True men of old did not reject (the views of) the few; they did not seek to accomplish (their ends) like heroes (before others); they did not lay plans to attain those ends. Being such, though they might make mistakes, they had no occasion for repentance; though they might succeed, they had no self-complacency. Being such, they could ascend the loftiest heights without fear; they could pass through water without being made wet by it; they could go into fire without being burnt; so it was that by their knowledge they ascended to and reached the Tâo.

The True men of old did not dream when they slept, had no anxiety when they awoke, and did not care that their food should be pleasant. Their breathing came deep and silently. The breathing of the true man comes (even) from his heels, while men generally breathe (only) from their throats. When men are defeated in argument, their words come from their gullets as if they were vomiting. Where lusts and desires are deep, the springs of the Heavenly are shallow.

The True men of old knew nothing of the love of life or of the hatred of death. Entrance into life occasioned them no joy; the exit from it awakened no resistance. Composedly they went and came. They did not forget what their beginning bad been, and they did not inquire into what their end would be. They accepted (their life) and rejoiced in it; they forgot (all fear of death), and returned (to their state before life). Thus there was in them what is called the want of any mind to resist the Tâo, and of all attempts by means of the Human to assist the Heavenly. Such were they who are called the True men.

Being such, their minds were free from all thought; their demeanour was still and unmoved; their foreheads beamed simplicity. Whatever coldness came from them was like that of autumn; whatever warmth came from them was like that of spring. Their joy and anger assimilated to what we see in the four seasons. They did in regard to all things what was suitable, and no one could know how far their action would go.

Nightingale: Keats and Hafez

nightingale

 Hafez sang:
بلبلى خون جگر خورد و گلى حاصل كرد
باد غيرت به صادش خار پريشان دل كرد
طوطيى را به خيال شكرى دل خوش بود
ناگهش سيل فنا نقش امل باطل كرد

Gertrude Bell’s translation:

The nightingale with drops of his heart’s blood
Had nourished the red rose, then came a wind,
And catching at the boughs in envious mood,
a hundred thorns about his heart entwined.
Like to the parrot crunching sugar, good
Seemed the world to me who could not stay
The wind of Death that swept my hopes away.

 

Compare with this beautiful recitation of Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale:

 

Ode to a Nightingale

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
         My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
         One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
         But being too happy in thine happiness,—
                That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
                        In some melodious plot
         Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
                Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
         Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
         Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
         Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
                With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
                        And purple-stained mouth;
         That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
                And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
         What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
         Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
         Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
                Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
                        And leaden-eyed despairs,
         Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
                Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
         Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
         Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
         And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
                Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
                        But here there is no light,
         Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
                Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
         Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
         Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
         White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
                Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
                        And mid-May’s eldest child,
         The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
                The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
         I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
         To take into the air my quiet breath;
                Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
         To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
                While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
                        In such an ecstasy!
         Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
                   To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
         No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
         In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
         Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
                She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
                        The same that oft-times hath
         Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
                Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
         To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
         As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
         Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
                Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
                        In the next valley-glades:
         Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
                Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

 

chnese nightingale

 

 

Hafez

Translation:
Weep, O Nightingale, if you wish to be my friend
For we are two helpless lovers, whose work is weeping
In that land where the breeze blows from the beloved’s locks
what room is there for boasting of the musk of Tartar?
Bring wine so we can dye our cloak of hypocrisy
We are drunk form the cup of arrogance and we call it sobriety
Cherishing the thought of your hair is not for the novice
going under the chain is the way of the elite
There is a hidden subtlety that gives rise to love
whose name is neither ruby lip nor auburn cheek’s down
A person’s beauty is not in the eye nor face, nor cheek, nor hair
there are a thousand fine points in this work of beauties
The Qalandars of Truth do not buy, for half a barley corn,
the silk robe of the person who is without art
It is difficult to reach your doorstep
ascension to the heaven of joy is difficult
At dawn I dreamt of the seductive glance of your eye
Ah, some stages of sleep are better than being awake…
Do not harm his heart with your wailing, hush now Hafez
For eternal salvation lies in doing the least harm

 

 

 

Original:

بنال بلبل اگر با منت سر یاریست
که ما دو عاشق زاریم و کار ما زاریست

در آن زمین که نسیمی وزد ز طره دوست
چه جای دم زدن نافه‌های تاتاریست

بیار باده که رنگین کنیم جامه زرق
که مست جام غروریم و نام هشیاریست

خیال زلف تو پختن نه کار هر خامیست
که زیر سلسله رفتن طریق عیاریست

لطیفه‌ایست نهانی که عشق از او خیزد
که نام آن نه لب لعل و خط زنگاریست

جمال شخص نه چشم است و زلف و عارض و خال
هزار نکته در این کار و بار دلداریست

قلندران حقیقت به نیم جو نخرند
قبای اطلس آن کس که از هنر عاریست

بر آستان تو مشکل توان رسید آری
عروج بر فلک سروری به دشواریست

سحر کرشمه چشمت به خواب می‌دیدم
زهی مراتب خوابی که به ز بیداریست

دلش به ناله میازار و ختم کن حافظ
که رستگاری جاوید در کم آزاریست

japansingnightingale

 

`

Translation:
At dawn, the nightingale complained to the breeze, saying:
“Oh the things that loving the rose’s face has done to me…”
It pulled off the veil of the rose and brushed away the tress of the hyacinth
and opened the knot of the cord of the bud’s robe
The lover nightingale cried out in all directions
But it was the breeze that was blessed from this
Blessed be the morning breeze that
remedied the pain of those who stay awake at night
No more will I complain of strangers
for any wrong to me was done my that dear one
If I coveted a favor from the sultan, it was a mistake
If I sought faithfulness from the beloved, she was cruel.
I am the slave of the generous spirit of that dear one
Who did good deeds without pretension and hypocrisy
take the good news to the winesellers’ street
That Hafez repented of pretentious abstinence

 

 

Original:

سحر بلبل حکایت با صبا کرد
که عشق روی گل با ما چه‌ها کرد
از آن رنگ رخم خون در دل افتاد
وز آن گلشن به خارم مبتلا کرد
غلام همت آن نازنینم
که کار خیر بی روی و ریا کرد
من از بیگانگان دیگر ننالم
که با من هر چه کرد آن آشنا کرد
گر از سلطان طمع کردم خطا بود
ور از دلبر وفا جستم جفا کرد
خوشش باد آن نسیم صبحگاهی
که درد شب نشینان را دوا کرد
نقاب گل کشید و زلف سنبل
گره بند قبای غنچه وا کرد
به هر سو بلبل عاشق در افغان
تنعم از میان باد صبا کرد
بشارت بر به کوی می فروشان
که حافظ توبه از زهد ریا کرد

 

 

chinesenightingale

Translation:
I went to the garden one morning to pick a rose
and suddenly heard a nightingale’s song.
Like me, the poor bird had fallen in love with a rose
and in the field, raised a commotion with his cries.
And as I walked through that field and garden
I thought on that rose and nightingale.
The rose befriended beauty, and the nightingale, love
neither showed any signs of changing.
As the song of the nightingale entered my heart,
it got to the point where I could stand it no longer.
Many roses bloom in this garden, but
none plucks a rose without the pain of a thorn.
Hafez, harbor hope of deliverance from this cycle of existence
It has a thousand flaws and not one redeeming virtue.

Original:

رفتم به باغ صبحدمی تا چنم گلی
آمد به گوش ناگهم آواز بلبلی
مسکین چو من به عشق گلی گشته مبتلا
و اندر چمن فکنده ز فریاد غلغلی
می‌گشتم اندر آن چمن و باغ دم به دم
می‌کردم اندر آن گل و بلبل تاملی
گل یار حسن گشته و بلبل قرین عشق
آن را تفضلی نه و این را تبدلی
چون کرد در دلم اثر آواز عندلیب
گشتم چنان که هیچ نماندم تحملی
بس گل شکفته می‌شود این باغ را ولی
کس بی بلای خار نچیده‌ست از او گلی
حافظ مدار امید فرج از مدار كون
دارد هزار عیب و ندارد تفضلی


Translation:
“Ask for wine and throw flowers. What else do you want from time?”
The rose said this at dawn, O nightingale, what do you say?
Take your seat in the rose garden so that you may kiss
the beauty and the Saqi on the lip and cheek and drink wine and smell roses
Upon whom will your smiling bud bestow its fortune
O elegant rose, for whose sake do you grow?
Each bird comes to the king’s rose garden with a tale
The nightingale with his song and Hafez with his prayer.

 

Original:
می خواه و گل افشان کن از دهر چه می‌جویی
این گفت سحرگه گل بلبل تو چه می‌گویی
مسند به گلستان بر تا شاهد و ساقی را
لب گیری و رخ بوسی می نوشی و گل بویی
تا غنچه خندانت دولت به که خواهد داد
ای شاخ گل رعنا از بهر که می‌رویی
هر مرغ به دستانی در گلشن شاه آمد
بلبل به نواسازی حافظ به غزل گویی
japannightingale

 

Camaron

 

Translation:

Step into that corner
where the gnats do not bite
I do not care about anyone
but you, my little dear

In the Moorish quarter
Juanola le puso el cura
Juanola pa to la vía.

I saw the flowers cry
when you entered the garden,
because the flowers would all like
to look like you.

Keep away from the people
who do not know our love,
the farther you are from the saint,
the closer to devotion.

And the day you were born
all the flowers bloomed
and at the baptismal font
nightingales sang.

nightgalepersianmin

Original:

Lerelere lele…aay

Métete en aquel rincón
donde las mosquitas no te coman
cuenta yo no le doy a nadie
primita de tu persona.

De la morería
Juanola le puso el cura
Juanola pa to la vía.

Al verte las flores lloran
cuando entras tu al jardín,
porque las flores quisieran
toítas parecerse a ti.

Retírate que la gente
no conozca nuestro amor,
contra más lejos esté el santo
más cerca la devoción.

Y el día que tú naciste
nacieron toítas las flores
y en la pila de bautismo
cantaron los ruiseñores.

nightingale