A wretch steals the words Sufis spoke,
and tells tall tales to simple folk.
The work of real men shines bright,
the vile have shameless tricks - not light.
-Moulana Rumi, Masnavi, Book 1, Part 11, translation by @persianpoetrics
‘Translations’ by Coleman Barks, others:
Beyond heresy and faith, there’s another place,
we yearn for what’s in the midst of that desert plain.
When the gnostic arrives there, he prostrates his face,
there’s no heresy, faith, or place in that domain.
Coleman Barks, ‘The Essential Rumi,’ page 36:
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, and even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.
Come again, come again, whatever you are, come again,
if you’re an infidel or idolater, come again.
This doorway of ours is not a doorway of hopelessness,
if you’ve broken one hundred repentances, come again.
Translation of unknown origin:
Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times come, yet again, come, come.
If you don’t have a partner why not seek one?
And if you find a partner, why not have fun?
Coleman Barks, Open Secret, page 19:
If you don’t have a woman that lives with you, Why aren’t you looking?
If you have one, Why aren’t you satisfied?
Today we’re broken, broken, like every other day,
open not the door of worry, grab the lute and play!
There are one hundred kinds of prayers and prostrations
when one faces their beloved’s beauty as they pray.
Coleman Barks, The Essential Rumi, page 36:
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kiss the ground.
The beautiful idol came we shouted and cried!
Like a sugar-lipped lover he sat by my side.
He put down silk and a lute at his side and sang,
“We are happily freed from the self, and untied.”
Coleman Barks, Unseen Rain: Quatrains of Rumi, page 58:
Love comes sailing through and I scream.
Love sits beside me like a private supply of itself.
Love puts away the instruments and took off the silk robes.
Our nakedness together changes me completely.
You say, “Our hearts are together, but we’re apart.”
But never think to yourself, “I have a pure heart.”
If you see a true reflection of your thoughts once,
you'll say, “I'm disgusted!” and desire a fresh start.
Coleman Barks, Unseen Rain: Open Secret page 19:
You say you have no sexual longing any more. You're one with the one you love.
This is dangerous, don’t believe that I have a love like that.
If one day you see a picture of how you think, you’ll hate yourself, openly.
O love, fairies and humans know of you,
you’re more famous than Solomon’s ring too.
In the worldly form, you’re known as the soul,
I live with you in a way that birds knew.
Coleman Barks, The Essential Rumi, page 37:
They try to say what you are, spiritual or sexual?
They wonder about Solomon and all his wives.
In the body of the world, they say, there is a soul, and you are that.
But we have ways within each other that will never be said by anyone.