Rumi interpreted by Coleman Barks derived from Arberry’s translation
You bind me, and I tear away in a rage to open out
into air, a round brightness, a candle point,
all reason, all love.
This confusing joy, your doing,
this hangover, your tender thorn.
You turn to look, I turn.
I’m not saying this right.
I am a jailed crazy who ties up spirit-women.
I am Solomon.
What goes comes back. Come back.
We never left each other.
A disbeliever hides disbelief,
but I will say his secret.
More and more awake, getting up at night,
spinning and falling with love for Shams.
Ghazal 2166 — Coleman Barks
“The Essential Rumi”
Again I am raging, I am in such a state by your soul that every
bond you bind, I break, by your soul.
I am like heaven, like the moon, like a candle by your glow; I am all
reason, all love, all soul, by your soul.
My joy is of your doing, my hangover of your thorn; whatever
side you turn your face, I turn mine, by your soul.
I spoke in error; it is not surprising to speak in error in this
state, for this moment I cannot tell cup from wine, by your soul.
I am that madman in bonds who binds the “divs”; I, the madman,
am a Solomon with the “divs”, by your soul.*
Whatever form other than love raises up its head from my
heart, forthwith I drive it out of the court of my heart, by your
Come, you who have departed, for the thing that departs
comes back; neither you are that, by my soul, nor I am that, by your
Disbeliever, do not conceal disbelief in your soul, for I will recite
the secret of your destiny, by your soul.
Out of love of Sham-e Tabrizi, through wakefulness or
nightrising, like a spinning mote I am distraught, by your soul.
— Translation by A.J. Arberry
Mystical Poems of Rumi 2
University of Chicago Press, 1991
* A word-play between madman (dîvâna) and the jinn (dîv-ân). The Arabic
word “jinn” was translated into Persian as “dîv,” meaning “demon” (and
contrasts in meaning with its Sanscrit cognate, “deva,” from which the
European word “divinity” originates). The Arabic words “crazy” (junûn,
majnûn) literally mean “jinn-possessed,” were translated into Persian as
“dîvâna,” literally means “demonic.” According to Qur’ân, Solomon was given
power over the supernatural beings called jinn (from which comes the word
“genie”), who did great projects of labor for him (Qur’ân 34:12, 21:82,
38:36-37). — footnote provided by Ibrahim Gamard