Sufi Dance and Music Classes

Poems from Divan-e Shams.Rumi, Mevlana

Brief notes on Divan-e Shams

Divan-e Shams is a masterpiece of wisdom and eloquence. It is often said that Rumi had attained the level of a “Perfect Master” and as such, he often dwelled in the spiritual realms that were rarely visited by others of this world. He attained heights that were attained by only a few before him or since.

In Divan-e Shams, he has used many images from the mundane world. Images such as the wine and the wine bearer, the pearl and the ocean, the sun and the moon, the night and day, the caravan, pilgrimage and many more. However, he has always expressed spiritual wisdom of the highest level through this imagery.

While many other poets have a mystical vision and then try to express it in a graspable language, Rumi has never attempted to bring his visions to the level of the mundane. He has always expected, nay, demanded the reader to reach higher and higher in his or her own spiritual understanding, and then perhaps be able to appreciate what Rumi was saying.

Perhaps this is why there are many layers to his poetry… not so much because of his writing, but because of our understanding. As we transcend in our understanding, we grasp more and more of what he conveyed to us.

Yet there is more. While many of the translations of Rumi’s poetry have tried to convey the immense wisdom contained therein, often they overlook the musical and artistic beauty that they contain. Particularly in Divan-e Shams, Rumi has created such level of beauty through the use and mastery of musical rhythm and rhyme, that the reader not only can appreciate its wisdom, but also reach levels of ecstasy and mystical energy that is seldom found in other poems or any translations of his poetry.

The mastery of rhyme and rhythm is such that he often creates a new vocabulary, using the same old words, yet creating new feelings that are associated with them. Furthermore, often he has such mastery of play on words and puns, or at other times he uses the same word with a different accent or vowel twice or even thrice in the same verse, with a different meaning each time. One cannot help but marvel at the linguistic mastery he displays.

In any case, the end result is the same… the experience of artistic beauty, musical genius, rhythm and ecstatic energy, all in conjunction with the mental understanding of the wisdom conveyed. This is as close as one can get to the mystical experience itself, without actually being there with Rumi. In other words, His presence pervades his poetry, and one cannot help but be touched by such powerful and loving presence.

In translation from Farsi to English, it is inevitable that much of the intricacies are lost. However, the present translations have attempted to retain some of the rhythm and rhyme as well as the imagery and the core message of each poem, though often in feeble ways, only to attempt to present a glimpse of his mastery.

The translations are far from creating the ecstasy that Rumi creates and communicates, but it is hoped that they will point the reader in the same direction. And perhaps by using his or her imagination, the reader can have a glimpse of how Rumi would provide glimpses of ecstasy and mystical experience. And hopefully this will pave the way for the reader to connect with Rumi’s all and ever-pervasive presence, and with time, be touched by that spirit.

Poems from Divan-e Shams.Rumi,Mevlana

Beloved reached desired glow
And so we say, may it be so
All doubts towards faith did grow
And so we say, may it be so

The devil’s plot caused perturbation
And the nation faced agitation;
Once again was Solomon’s nation
And so we say, may it be so

Beloved who put my heart in pain
Closed doors on my face once again
Friends would console and entertain
And so we say, may it be so

You drank wine on your own
Lusted after all, alone
Now lead the drunk upon a throne
And so we say, may it be so

From your majestic bright face
The flame lighting my place
Each corner, a well-lit space
And so we say, may it be so

From your fake anger and rage
And the sweet turning of the page
The world is a sugary stage
And so we say, may it be so

Night replaced by the morrow
Joy has conquered every sorrow
Sun light, pervasive and thorough
And so we say, may it be so

From mendicant generosity
And lovers’ pertinacity
Revival and vivacity
And so we say, may it be so

Celebrate this festivity
Restored to compatibility
Festivals abound in our city
And so we say, may it be so

O masterful wise minstrel
In the underworld do not dwell
Finally Venus in Libra fell
And so we say, may it be so

The mendicant reached kingly might
In wealth attained unimagined height
Partaking of courtly delight
And so we say, may it be so

Consider the wind in the air
Sweet lips’ bewitching flair
Wailing windpipe will not spare
And so we say, may it be so

The Pharaoh with much hardship
Misfortunes his life grip
Of suffering, Moses strip
And so we say, may it be so

Evil looking and ugly wolf
[17:00, 17.12.2022] Nurdoğan: Drowned in ignorance’s deep gulf
By Joseph’s goodness now dwarf
And so we say, may it be so

O Shams-e Tabrizi, you
Compassionately blend and renew
East and west through and through
And so we say, may it be so

From submission to Satan’s will
Your prophetic soul emerged through this mill
Satan himself, God’s will fulfill
And so we say, may it be so

When the moon was shining its light
Both worlds were garden of delight
All souls for home then took flight
And so we say, may it be so

The ignorant and the blind
With insight are now wise and kind
Surpass Jesus, put him behind
And so we say, may it be so

It was all for souls to grow
May it always have been so
Thy splendor brightly aglow
And so we say, may it be so

All thy wrath was thy mercy
Thy poison, sweet clemency
Like dark clouds’ sweet potency
And so we say, may it be so

In his temple, colors remain
Pulling by the horns will not disdain
When this bull’s blood floors stain
And so we say, may it be so

Silence! I am drunk, you know
My hands are tied in this earthly show
My disheveled mind moves to and fro
And so we say, may it be so

Ó Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
July 21, 1998