Thought Archive

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

More Poetry Please .... Nesimi again

These are my translations of few of Nesimi Rubayi quatrains:

I am a slave of Truth, and bringer I was made of news
By Grace of Allah, bring the His knowledge for you to use
There are so many Worlds – Ten Thousand to be exact
But God is One, and everywhere He is true

Don’t waste your time, as only foolish people can
Do understand: Creation of the world is Man
And in his eyes – The Meaning of the Universe
And everything that God had said and planned

We always look for meaning, always argue in emotion
The Ignorance is Enemy. It can destroy – so hear my caution
Lo! Hear those who understood of Love, who cry. For them
An Ocean into teardrop changed, and drop became an ocean.

And this translation courtesy of Poetry Chaikahana which I did not have time to over.

I'm thought and beauty. I am attributes. I am desire.
I am the portrait, and the lover charmed by it I am.
I am the balm and doctor, the recovery and pain.
The sufferer the relief of suffering I am.

I am the Holy Book, its letters, he to whom God spoke.
The word, the one who spoke it and the argument I am.
The bearer of the cup I am, the wineseller, the drunk.
The spring of Heaven, the winepourer, the wine and cup I am.

I am much-repeated prayer. I am hypocrisy.
I am the one-God faith and of that the flame I am.
I am the Joy-provider, the All-merciful, the Wise.
Beatitude, Eternity and Paradise I am.

Know God, acknowledge him, Nesimi! You are mankind's son
And I am he who did receive from God the name of Man

Happy Muslim Year 1429 indeed.


Riri said...

lovely translations, well done.
happy new year!

NoolaBeulah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NoolaBeulah said...

Lovely stuff, Hazar. I know very little about the world of this poetry. Just some things by Rumi, of whom this reminds me.

On a completely different note, I came across this in Amin Maalouf's Balthasar's Odyssey.

They say Time is soon to die
that the days are short of breath
They lie.

Evidently, by someone called Abu-l-Ala, the blind poet of Maara. He is quoted again a little later. On the subject of our discussions at my blog.

The people want an imam to arise
And speak to a silent crowd
An illusion; there is no imam but reason
It alone guides us day and night.

[Overwhelmed by work at the moment, so not very active online.]

Hazar Nesimi said...

You might find an article about him interesting'arri, since his is Arabic poetry - I disagree with atheist definition, but he was a noted rationalist.

I have come across this verse from him in Eng. translations:

In the casket of the Hours
Events deep-hid
Wait on their guardian Powers
To raise the lid.

And the Maker infinite,
Whose poem is Time,
He need not weave in it
A forced stale rhyme.

The Nights pass so,
Voices dumb,
Without sense quick or slow
Of what shall come*.

By Allah’s will preserving
From misflight,
The barbs of Time unswerving
On us alight.

A loan is all he gives
And takes again;
With his gift happy lives
The folly of men*.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Or you might like that from Ma'ari again:

Hanifs (Muslims) are stumbling, Christians all astray
Jews wildered, Magians far on error's way.
We mortals are composed of two great schools:
Enlightened knaves or else religious fools.

Riri said...

Yeah, why do atheists consider Abul Alaa Al Maari atheist? I have always wondered on what basis they profer such claims? In any case, I like his poems, very enlightened for the blind man that he was. Al Mutanabbi is also great! His name means (He who claimed to be a prophet), he is a real character.

Hazar Nesimi said...

Yeah I remember your favoirite Mutannabi, crazy character it seems. I did not know that he was one of Qarmatians. You know that they stole Black stone of Kaaba for a while..

Riri said...

Yes, he is so mad, but his poetry is fun to read. His crazy ambition was very apparent and it feels quite refreshing to feel it permeate through a poem of praise destined to the Governor, he is a witty poet

NoolaBeulah said...

Wow! I like Al-Ma'arri. Whether he is atheist or not, a bit of publicity for writers like this would do Islamic PR no end of good. Just to show the variety of thought around when Islam was strong enough to be confident.

BTW, which are you two: Enlightened knaves or else religious fools?

Riri said...

I consider myself to be an enlightened fool. But that is only my personal opinion which is probably too imbibed with my self-adoration.

Hazar Nesimi said...

I can not say for Al-Maari since I am no expert in Arabic literature, but in Turkish/Persan harabat Sufi poetry such things are written that they will not make orthodox people happy to say the least, Rumi being most harmless. Yet Rumi’s poetry is displayed on the walls of Tehran, sung in Iranian music, and read in Iranian school books - I assume some bits are censored. Literally, Iranians live with Rumi’s poetry. I have read that Khomeini himself taught Rumi poetry and Eastern mysticism in seminary

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