Posts filed under ‘Coleman Barks’



Listen (to Pavi read)

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 are 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.

Will stop with two stolen lines from Pavi’s blog,

‘No one can make wisdom sparkle the way Rumi can.
There is such sureness, such light-footed agility to this verse.’

And relegate the rest to footnotes. ;-)

[1] :) The Irony! The bestselling poet in this youth-obsessed time and place is a a 13th century Persian poet, theologian, the head of a madrassa …
Rumi Rules!, TIME Asia.

[2] “While Barks’s stamp on this collection is clear, it in no way interferes with the poems themselves; Rumi’s voice leaps off these pages with an ecstatic energy that leaves readers breathless. There are poems of love, rage, sadness, pleading, and longing; passionate outbursts about the torture of longing for his beloved and the sweet pleasure that comes from their union; amusing stories of sexual exploits or human weakness; and quiet truths about the beauty and variety of human emotion. More than anything, Rumi makes plain the unbridled joy that comes from living life fully, urging us always to put aside our fears and take the risk to do so. As he says: “The way of love is not / a subtle argument. / The door there is devastation. / Birds make great sky-circles / of their freedom. / How do they learn it? / They fall, and falling, / they’re given wings.” –Uma Kukathas” – on Essential Rumi

Sigh! don’t you miss the ‘literal’ vs ‘poetic’ debates on translation (from the Faiz posts).

[3] There are a million ways (it would seem) to break someone’s heart, to disappoint them and hurt them. But very few ways to say, you are sorry. This was one of those, I-am-sorry poems in my mailbox. What could be better than to tell the ‘hurtee’ – just let it pass. The incident is now long lost, but the poem remains. And I am grateful. :)


June 5, 2006 at 9:56 pm 2 comments