The Song of the Reed – on Rumi’s birth anniversary
Listen to the song of the reed, How it wails with the pain of separation
Listen to the song of the reed,
How it wails with the pain of separation:
“Ever since I was taken from my reed bed
My woeful song has caused men and women to weep.
I seek out those whose hearts are torn by separation
For only they understand the pain of this longing.
Whoever is taken away from his homeland
Yearns for the day he will return.
In every gathering, among those who are happy or sad,
I cry with the same lament.
Everyone hears according to his own understanding,
None has searched for the secrets within me.
My secret is found in my lament
But an eye or ear without light cannot know it..”
The sound of the reed comes from fire, not wind
What use is one’s life without this fire?
It is the fire of love that brings music to the reed.
It is the ferment of love that gives taste to the wine.
The song of the reed soothes the pain of lost love.
Its melody sweeps the veils from the heart.
Can there be a poison so bitter or a sugar so sweet
As the song of the reed?
To hear the song of the reed
everything you have ever known must be left behind.
— Version by Jonathan Star
“Rumi – In the Arms of the Beloved”
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997
CourtesyÂ Sunlight where more versions can be found.