Doing as others told me/I was blind

Rumi’s Quatrain (no 77) can have so many interpretations


Doing as others told me,
I was blind.
Coming when others called me,
I was lost.

Then I left everyone,
myself as well.
Then I found everyone,
myself as well.

— Version by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva
“A Garden Beyond Paradise”
Bantam Books, 1992


for awhile
i chose myself to adore
losing me in me
i deserved no more
it seemed i couldn’t
see myself
yet i knew
when i stepped out
then me and myself
i beheld

— Translation by Nader Khalili
“Rumi, Dancing the Flame”
Cal-Earth Press, 2001


For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.

— Version by Coleman Barks
“Open Secret”
Threshold Books, 1984


Imitating others,
I failed to find myself.
I looked inside and discovered
I only knew my name.
When I stepped outside
I found my real Self.

— Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
“Rumi: Whispers of the Beloved”
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1999


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