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 (dÃ®vÃ¢na) and the jinn (dÃ®v-Ã¢n). The Arabic
word “jinn” was translated into Persian as “dÃ®v,” meaning “demon” (and
contrasts in meaning with its Sanscrit cognate, “deva,” from which the
European word “divinity” originates). The Arabic words “crazy” (junÃ»n,
majnÃ»n) literally mean “jinn-possessed,” were translated into Persian as
“dÃ®vÃ¢na,” literally means “demonic.” According to Qur’Ã¢n, 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’Ã¢n 34:12, 21:82,
38:36-37). — footnote provided by Ibrahim Gamard