Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rumi, a Persian Poet

Church and Punta Della Revallata - Lumio Corsica, France
by David Tomlinson
 Rumi had the same reverence as Shakespeare had for the beauty of language and the use of language.He was born on September 30th , 1207  and died on December 17th 1273.  He was a Persian Poet and eventually settled in Turkey where he lived most of his life.  His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and was considered a very popular poet in America.

A poem by Rumi:  "An Awkward Comparison"

This physical world has no two things alike.
Every comparison is awkwardly rough.
You can put a lion next to a man,
but the placing is hazardous to both.
Say the body is like this lamp.
It has to have a wick and oil.  Sleep and food.
If it doesn't get those, it will die,
and it's always burning those up, trying to die.
But where is the sun in this comparison?
It rises, and the lamp's light mixes with the day.
which is the reality, cannot be understood
with lamp and sun images.  The blurring
of a plural into a unity is wrong.
No image can describe
what of our fathers and mothers,
our grandfathers and grandmothers, remains.
Language does not touch the one
who lives in each of us.
There are two kinds of intelligence:  one acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.
With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information.  You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.
There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox.  A freshness
in the center of the chest.  This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate.  It's fluid,
and it doesn't move from outside to inside
through the conduits of plumbing-learning.
This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

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