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My cup
Rumi's poetry

April 2, 2002
The Iranian

Rumi: Hidden Music by Maryam Mafi and Azima M. Kolin (Thorsons Pub, January 2002)

What did Rumi have to say which appeals to us seven hundred years later His words trouble, pierce, console and uplift the heart. He speaks of a love, which can only be attained if it is lived beyond all limitations of intellect and beyond any divisions of dogma.

Rumi is the teacher of love, the love that he finds difficult to convey the magic of to those who are made of dust. Yet he takes the dust and moulds it into white silent lilies that speak the truth. The power and beauty of his words come from experience, he knows the wounds of life and has gone beyond them to find the ecstasy of love.

According to Rumi love is the most difficult concept to define. "My pen splinters when I write Love. " Yet from this love, Rumiís poems burst like stars and fill the sky bright and clear like the stars in the desert night. Each one takes us into a different world and always in love. Like Rumi who found in Shams his only Friend, his water of life and the music of his soul, we too find in Rumi the friend who quenches the thirst of our soul and we fall in love.

Born Jalaludin Mohamad on 30th September 1207 in Balkh a city in the Persian Empire, he was brought up a Sufi by his father and became a brilliant and respected jurist. Rumi was thirty-seven when he met a highly advanced spiritual master in the form of the dervish, Shams. Shams was the soul-mate, the inspiration that Rumi had been waiting for. He was an enigmatic figure in his sixties, a wandering mystic walking on the path of love. His appearance was shabby and his manner rough and uncompromising.

He had searched the world for someone who could receive his wisdom and become his spiritual confidant. He found that person in Rumi and Rumi found in Shams the embodiment of Godís beauty, in him he saw the face of God. Shams opened new dimensions of divine love to Rumi and showed him the direct path to the Beloved through the heart. He showed him an ecstatic way of worship through poetry, music, sama or meditative whirling and freed him from the restraints of piety and self renunciation.

No one will ever know what passed between them but the poetry in the Divan and the Masnavi, which streamed from Rumi are the only true testimony of the love they shared for the Divine. Shams' disappearance and subsequent death was the catalyst for Rumi's extraordinary poetic outpour of longing and love which eventually led him to the ultimate union with the Beloved.

Sample poems in Rumi: Hidden Music

1) Sometimes I call you my cup, sometimes
the jug, sometimes my precious gold,
sometimes my silver moon.
Sometimes I call you a seed, sometimes
the prey and sometimes a trap.
And all this is because
I don't want to call you by your name.

2) Let us fall in love again
and scatter gold dust all over the world.
Let us become a new spring
and feel the breeze drift in the heaven's scent.
Let us dress the earth in green,
and like the sap of a young tree
let the grace from within sustain us.
Let us carve gems out of our stony hearts
and let them light our path to Love.
The glance of Love is crystal clear
and we are blessed by its light.

3) I am in love not only
with his smile and radiant face
but also with his wrath and contempt.
He has asked for my head
I do not care if I lose it
what makes me ecstatic is
Him asking.

4) Here someone is hidden
who has taken hold of me and does not let me go.

Here someone is hidden
softer than the soul who led me to the garden of spirit
and made me homeless.

Here someone is hidden
a radiant face as delicate and fleeting
as the ephemeral moment before sleep.

Here someone is hidden
like sweetness in sugar cane,
an ingvisible magician who has captured my soul.

Hidden somewhere inside, my beloved and I
have dissolved in each other.

No beauty in the world can ever tempt me
for I see only the face of my beloved.

Tired and in pain I searched the world for help
until I found in love the cure for my pain.

Here someone hidden whispered:
"Pass beyond your tears and
you will see the broken hearted lovers
are the lords in heaven."

Here someone hidden appeared
holding love's wine
and to him I've given all my vows.

5) One day
you will take my heart completely
and make it more fiery than
a dragon.
Your eyelashes will write on my heart
the poem
that could never come from the pen
of a poet.

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