Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Poem

Art and Environment
by Edward Hessler

Rumi [Wikipedia]

Today's poems—two for a change—are by Jalal ad-Din Muhammed Rumi, aka Jalal ad Din Muhammed Balkhi, Maulana/Mevlana, Mevlevi/Mawlawi, Jalaluddim Rumi but more commonly known as Rumi (September 30, 1207 to December 17, 1273). I've missed a few accents!

I've wanted to post a poem by Rumi for quite I while. The reason I haven't may be for a reason that makes little sense. I don't like how celebrity and New Age culture has seized him, turning him, in my view, into something he wasn't but into something they want. Rumi was a scholar whose often mystical poetry is deeply rooted in Islam.

A recent essay about Rumi by Rozina Ali notes that Rumi "is typically referred to as a mystic, a saint, a Sufi, an enlightened man. Curiously, however, although he was a lifelong scholar of the Koran and Islam, he is less frequently described as a Muslim."  It was Ali's essay who provided the nudge to post a poem or two.

The following poems are from this site.

I Died from Minnerality and Became Vegetable

I died from minerality and became vegetable;
And From vegetativeness I died and became animal.
I died from animality and became man.
Then why fear disappearance through death?
Next time I shall die
Bringing forth wings and feathers like angels;
After that, soaring higher than angels -
What you cannot imagine,
I shall be that.

A Star Without a Name

When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,
it easily forgets her
and starts eating solid food.

Seeds feed awhile on ground,
then lift up into the sun.

So you should taste the filtered light
and work your way toward wisdom
with no personal covering.

That's how you came here, like a star
without a name. Move across the night sky
with those anonymous lights.

(Mathnawi III, 1284-1288)

"Say I Am You" Coleman Barks Maypop, 1994

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