alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Some song or something


another Rumi poem, translated by Coleman Barks. It's how I feel today.

Some Song or Something

Birdsong brings relief

to my longing.


I am just as ecstatic as they are,
but with nothing to say.


Please, universal soul, practice

some song, or something, through me.

26 comments:

Anet said...

Ruth, this is so beautiful! I understand.

André Lemay said...

I love your picture with the fog on the river, the poem is nice too.

Sharon said...

Thank you for this. Every word of this poems gives voice to what I feel every day.....there is no way to express it better than Rumi has. Imagine being able to speak for the souls of people who lived some 800 years after you did......amazing! The photo is just perfect.....something more for the universal soul to connect too.

Astrid said...

The words are so true, the picture with it is very well choosen, where did you take this picture, near the cabin??

Sandy said...

ahhh, peace..stillness. Beautful image.

Drowsey Monkey said...

Lovely words and lovely image. I'm always partial to any photo with fog. It can be romantic or spooky or pensive.

Loring Wirbel said...

Rumi had a great way for melding the complex and casual, particularly considering the era in which he wrote. That clause "or something" is one I use constantly after going through a very complex explanation or story, i.e., "he was really a secret Freemason involved in sex scandals and plots to kill his rivals, all the while waiting for the UFOs -- or something." Wonder if it was just an accident it translated into English that way. But there are no accidents. Or something.

Ruth said...

Anet, it doesn't matter what language we speak, English, Ojibwa, Turkish, Pharsi, French, Dutch, sometimes there are no words.

~

André, I'm so glad you like them.

~

Sharon, it is really startling how Rumi's words, translated here, and who knows how different, but still startling how there is still something new in them, but so old it connects with us down deep. Thank you.

Sharon said...

Loring~ I had heard only of the sex scandals not the killing plots ...that's fascinating, I guess I'll have to read more about him.

Yeah Ruth I had read years ago about widespread criticism of Barks' translations and like you said who really knows what the originals were. I'm not an academic or a purist so am naively happy to just get lost in the beauty of the work (irregardless of authorship) and the connection.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Astrid. I took the picture on an October morning in 2006 just after the sun had come up, yes at our lake where the cottage is. I rode my daughter's kayak around the lake for 2 hours, was out before the moon set. It was one of the best experiences of my life. You can see the feathers on the grass from the geese in this photo.

~

Sandy, the lake that morning was a thing of immense beauty, and the geese and I had it to ourselves.

~

Drowsey, fog does add to any scene, I'm drawn to it too. It makes me go inside.

Ruth said...

Loring, oh dear, I think you've started a rumor about Rumi . . but I think you were expounding on your own "or something" monologues about this and that. In Turkish it was common to say "başka bir şey" for the same idea, literally, "some other thing." With most people, it mops up a lot of namby pamby data, but for you, you have another few volumes of data to back up the "or something.

~

Sharon, I'm not an academic or a purist either, and one volume of Rumi I have has many wonderful insights written by Barks himself as well. I find him to be quite insightful. I got to hear him read and recite with two musicians recently, and I was blown away.

Ruth said...

Loring, I intended to say that I too was struck by the "or something" and wondered how it was in the original. I guess the phrase for me lends a gravity and as you say points to the complexity, rather than deminish it at all, in spite of the sort of imprecision of it.

Sharon said...

Ooooooh man Ruth! now I really am jealous.... Coleman barks, Ann Arbor, the green barn, chickens, and your wonderful photographer's eye....so much beauty. I know that sounds schmoozy but I mean it, it is all beautiful from here. Thanks!

Loring Wirbel said...

Oh, yes, Sharon, before I ruin Rumi's reputation, I should say I was speaking generically about any old Mr. X so I could show how I use the phrase "or something." Or something.

Loring Wirbel said...

And Ruth, as you said, sometimes imprecision can be a scalpel in the right hands. I know grammarians who wince at "Whatever," but a "whatever" in the right hands can be an "or something" something.

Sharon said...

I reread your comment Loring...I'm an idiot, sorry. I thought killing seemed inconsistent with what I know of him......and have never paid much attention to the nature of his affections for Tabrizi.

Ruth said...

Sharon, if you EVER get a chance to hear Coleman Barks with his drummer and cellist, I highly recommend it. You can see my post about it from November here:

http://ruthie822.blogspot.com/2007/11/music-dance.html

~

Sharon, his affections for Shams were perhaps quite selfish, since they may be what led to his murder at others' hands. I'm sure most of what Rumi wrote was about the Divine, but I find a lot I relate to about love in general, and about life and being true.

Sharon said...

We have some old tapes (Rumi Voice of Longing) where he is accompanied by Marcus Wise and David Whetstone and it is mesmerizing.....I expect that's as close as I'll ever come to hearing him. Thanks for the link it was a great post.
(my cheeks are still red with embarrasment!!)

Heather said...

Ruth, one thing I have been really enjoying this spring is watching the birds come to our birdfeeders outside our front windows. We've had numerous woodpeckers (downy, flicker), red-winged blackbirds, cardinals, nuthatches, and an impressive rose breasted grosbeak.

Thanks for this poem. It has reminded me that we need to refill our bird feeders. :)

Ruth said...

Sharon, yes! It's really cool how Barks gets into the rhythm of the music, and the poems become music too. The trio takes you to another place altogether.

Oh, and about being embarrassed, don't be! I have mis-read comments and posts so many times it's silly. Just mis-read one of Loring's at huffing the other day. When Don read this exchange this morning he said, "Good! Now I don't feel so stupid for thinking Sharon wrote that poem she posted!" Believe me, you're safe with me.

~

Heather, a rose-breasted grosbeak! I don't know if I've ever seen one of those.

Ginnie said...

It's definitely worth singing, Ruth. And the song does come through you!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Boots. The song, or something, keeps playing - through us or not. It's always there.

SwedeHart said...

Can you practice one through me, too, universal soul, as I write a letter to our graduates today?

Ruth said...

SH, good idea to listen to the inner voice for such an important occasion.

lolly said...

Dreamy photo, ruth, a place I would feel at peace, listening to birdsong. Don't know if I should admit this, so publicly, but, when I hear a birdsong I like and is so melodic, I try to mimic it myself, as if in tune with the bird. It seems to work for a while...I feel connected then!
Lovely poem. :o0

Ruth said...

Lolly, don't feel shy, that is something we do here all the time, haha. I was quite disturbed one year when he called a bobwhite quail over and over and it came to the house looking for a mate, but no mate, alas.