ENOUGH TO GO AROUND

I finally opened a Christmas gift book a day or two ago, a new
expanded edition of THE ESSENTIAL RUMI, translation by
Coleman Barks.

I’ve been reading translations of Bark’s Rumi poems for years.
I had never listened to the words of how this translator fell in love
with the heart,mind, soul and works of that 13th century poet.

LIsten to this, the dedication of that edition:

“for the compassionate heart within the mind,
the light within the body,
for the sun, Shams of Tabriz, and Bawa Muharyaddeen”

In the introduction to the new edition, Coleman Barks writes:

“I have wondered why, on first looking into Arberry’s Rumi, I felt
such an opening of my heart, a sense of reckless longing, an
expansion of my sense of what’s possible in a poem, and in
life.

Whatever the attraction was in 1976, it was not scholarly
curiosity. Rumi’s poems hve never been for me, as for most
readers, museum curios.
They are food and drink, nourishment for the part that is
hungry for what they give. Call it soul.

…Consider emptiness.
Emptiness is what we hear in an old blues singer or a
jazz soloist. Heartbroken, wandering, wordless, lost,
and ecstatic for no reason. It’s the psychic space his
poems inhabit.

My most grandiose project is to free his text into
its essence. Take as much as you want.
It will go around.”
……………………………

Yes ! I have fallen in love with Coleman Barks.

Only to discover I am one of many ! Lizzie guided me
to a site on the internet where I could actually hear Barks
speak the poems of Rumi.

So, now a touch of translated Rumi:

“Real value comes with madness,
matzub below, scientist above.

Whoever finds love
beneath hurt and grief

disappears into emptiness
with a thousand new disguises.

***

Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of the fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you’re perfectly free.”
……………………………………………………………………..
with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette