Untitled by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Love is not written on paper,

for paper can be erased.

Nor is it etched on stone,

for stone can be broken.

But it is inscribed on a heart

and there it shall remain forever.

Note: If you have the original in Persian (Farsi) and/or who the translator is, please comment.

When I die by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī

When I die
when my coffin
is being taken out
you must never think
i am missing this world

don’t shed any tears
don’t lament or
feel sorry
i’m not falling
into a monster’s abyss

when you see
my corpse is being carried
don’t cry for my leaving
i’m not leaving
i’m arriving at eternal love

when you leave me
in the grave
don’t say goodbye
remember a grave is
only a curtain
for the paradise behind

you’ll only see me
descending into a grave
now watch me rise
how can there be an end
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down

it looks like the end
it seems like a sunset
but in reality it is a dawn
when the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed

have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life
why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human

have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty
why lament for a soul
when it can come back
like Joseph from the well

when for the last time
you close your mouth
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place no time

Note: Translated into English by Nader Khalili. Please comment if you have the original in Persian.

What Was Told, That by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī

What was said to the rose that made it open was said

to me here in my chest.

 

What was told the cypress that made it strong

and straight, what was

 

whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made

sugarcane sweet, whatever

 

was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in

Turkestan that makes them

 

so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush

like a human face, that is

 

being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in

language, that’s happening here.

 

The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,

chewing a piece of sugarcane,

 

in love with the one to whom every that belongs!

Untitled by Unknown

And still,

after all this time,

the Sun has never said to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

Look what happens with love like that.

It lights up the sky.

Note: The poet for this poem is controversial. It was first published in the book “The Gift: Poems by Hafiz” by Daniel Ladinsky. Ladinsky does not read or write Farsi (Persian) but claims he translated Hafiz’s poems from another english translation. Some people believe these poems are actually written by Ladinsky, and have nothing to do with Hafiz. Some believe they are written by him, and inspired by Hafiz but are not written by Hafiz originally.

Untitled by Rumi

The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.

 

 

Note: Above translation by Coleman Barks. Please comment if you have the original.

“Admit something” by Hafiz

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them,
“Love Me.”

Of course you do not do this out loud;
Otherwise, someone would call the cops.

Still though, think about this,
This great pull in us
To connect.

Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,

With that sweet moon
Language,

What every other eye in this world
is dying to
Hear.

Note: If you have the original poem above in Persian (Farsi), please leave a note. Also, if you know who the English translator is of the above poem, please leave a note. Thanks.

“Out beyond ideas” by Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

Note: Above English translation by Coleman Barks. Below is the original in Persian, followed by an English  transliteration.

 

از کفر و ز اسلام برون صحرائی است
ما را به میان آن فضا سودائی است
عارف چو بدان رسید سر را بنهد
نه کفر و نه اسلام و نه آنجا جائی است

az kufr-o ze-islâm berûn, SaHrâyê-st
mâ-râ ba-meyân-é ân faZâ, sawdâyê-st
`ârif chô ba-d-ân rasîd sar-râ be-neh-ad
nay kufr-o na islâm, na ân-jâ jâyê-st

“Sweetly parading you go” by Rumi

Sweetly parading you go my soul of soul, go not without me;
life of your friends, enter not the garden without me.
Sky, revolve not without me; moon, shine not without me;
earth travel not without me, and time, go not without me.
With you this world is joyous, and with you that world is joyous;
in this world dwell not without me, and to that world depart not without me.
Vision, know not without me, and tongue, recite not without
me; glance behold not without me, and soul, go not without me.
The night through the moon’s light sees its face white; I am
light, you are my moon, go not to heaven without me.
The thorn is secure from the fire in the shelter of the roses
face: you are the rose, I your thorn; go not into the rose garden without me.
I run in the curve of your mallet when your eye is with me;
even so gaze upon me, drive not without me, go not without me.
When, joy, you are companion of the king, drink not without
me; when, watchman, you go to the kings roof, go not without me.
Alas for him who goes on this road without your sign; since
you, O signless one, are my sign, go not without me.
Alas for him who goes on the road without my knowledge;
you are the knowledge of the road for me; O road-knower, go not without me.
Others call you love, I call you the king of love; O you who are
higher than the imagination of this and that, go not without me.

Note: Translated by A. J. Arberry. If you have this poem in the original Persian, please comment.

The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Note: This translation by Coleman Barks. If you know the original poem in Persian, please let me know by leaving a comment.

Like this by Rumi

Note: Translated by Coleman Barks.

If anyone asks you
how the perfect satisfaction
of all our sexual wanting
will look, lift your face
and say,

Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness
of the nightsky, climb up on the roof
and dance and say,

Like this.

If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,
or what “God’s fragrance” means,
lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.

Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image
about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,
slowly loosen knot by knot the strings
of your robe.

Like this.

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.

Like this. Like this.

When someone asks what it means
to “die for love,” point
here.

If someone asks how tall I am, frown
and measure with your fingers the space
between the creases on your forehead.

This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, the returns.
When someone doesn’t believe that,
walk back into my house.

Like this.

When lovers moan,
they’re telling our story.

Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret.

Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do,
light the candle in his hand.

Like this.

How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?

Huuuuu.

How did Jacob’s sight return?

Huuuu.

A little wind cleans the eyes.

Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz,
he’ll put just his head around the edge
of the door to surprise us

Like this.

Effort by Rumi

Go on scratching and scraping and cutting
the stone wall that bars your way.

Rest not for a moment
Till your last moment arrives.

Before that surely the time will come
When the Lord’s grace shall give you Light.

The Lord’s eyes are fixed on the peephole
And he sees every one who works and strives.

Whosoever works whether man or woman
Is sure to get the prize from Him.

A worthless effort is better than sleeping
For the Lord loves our effort, anxiety and struggle.

Oh wise man, labor as hard as you can
as all the Prophets and Godmen have done

Work for a few days,
Then laugh he rest of your life.

Why put on this bandage?
Your head is alright.

First, put in full effort then resign to His will
Have faith in Him and trust his work.

Believing in inaction is sleeping among robbers
A bird found napping is sure to be killed.

Resigning is sleeping; sleep not on your way
March on and on till you reach the gate of His abode.

When the Lord has put a ladder before us,
Step by step we should climb to the top

When we have legs why should we behave like cripples?
To be resigned is foolish and stupid.

When Master has put a spade in our hands
He has clearly expressed his wishes.

Making an effort is offering thanks to the Lord.
Resigning is being ungrateful.

Gratefulness causes his grace to increase
Ungratefuness causes us to lose what we have.

Don’t go back to sleep by Rumi

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

Maulana’s last letter to Shams by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Sometimes I wonder, sweetest love, if you
Were a mere dream in along winter night,
A dream of spring-days, and of golden light
Which sheds its rays upon a frozen heart;
A dream of wine that fills the drunken eye.

And so I wonder, sweetest love, if I
Should drink this ruby wine, or rather weep;
Each tear a bezel with your face engraved,
A rosary to memorize your name…

There are so many ways to call you back-
Yes, even if you only were a dream.

(translated by Annemarie Schimmel)