The Scolding Rumi: translations by Robert Bly

Reading Rumi in an Uncertain World – poems of the scolding Rumi, translated and read by Robert Bly

1. I don’t like it here, I want to go back (The Edge of the Roof)

I don’t like it here, I want to go back.
According to the old Knowers
If you’re absent from the one you love
Even for one second that ruins the whole thing!

There must be someone… just to find
One sign of the other world in this town
Would be enough.

You know the great Chinese Simurgh bird
Got caught in this net…
And what can I do? I’m only a wren.

My desire-body, don’t come
Strolling over this way.
Sit where you are, that’s a good place.

When you want dessert, you choose something rich.
In wine, you look for what is clear and firm.
What is the rest? The rest is mirages,
And blurry pictures, and milk mixed with water.
The rest is self hatred, and mocking other people, and bombing.

So just be quiet and sit down.
The reason is: you are drunk,
And this is the edge of the roof.

2. We should ask God to help us toward manners

We should ask God
To help us towards manners. Inner Gifts
Do not find their way
To creatures without just respect.

If a man or woman flails about, he not only
Smashes his house,
He burns the world down.

Your depression is connected to your insolence
And refusal to praise. If a man or woman is
On the path, and refuses to praise-that man or woman
Steals from others every day-in fact is a shoplifter!

The sun became full of light when it got hold of itself.
Angels began shining when they achieved discipline.

The sun goes out whenever the cloud of not-praising comes near.
The moment that foolish angel felt insolent, he heard the door close.

From The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy: Sacred Poems From Many Cultures edited by Robert Bly

Performances at Texas Nafas 2004 from the dvd “Reading Rumi in an Uncertain World”,
available direct from
or from amazon.


~ by scalambra on November 13, 2010.

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