Thursday, July 22

Like This...

So today I'm going to continue this new tradition of "Things That Have Inspired My Medieval Romance." This time, I'm posting a poem. One stanza in particular actually inspired this entire story. I'll leave it open for you guys to guess which one.

Now, there are many translations of this poem, so if you've read it before and it seems different, that's why. I went through a medieval Persian poetry kick (I'm odd, I know) and I fell in love with Rumi. So of course, I immediately bought two of his poetry books.

Anyway, I highly suggest you read this out loud and give each beat its due. This is a highly sensual poem. If you don't get that then you're reading it wrong, LOL!


Like This...
by 13th century Persian poet, Rumi

If anyone asks you what the virgins of Paradise are like,
show your face, as if to say,

"Like this..."

If anyone asks you about the rising moon,
go up to the roof, as if to say,

"Like this..."

If anyone boasts about the fragrance of musk,
just let down your hair and say,

"Like this..."

And if they say, "How do clouds part to reveal the full moon?"
undo the ties of your robe one by one and say,

"Like this..."

If anyone asks you how Jesus brought the dead to life,
kiss us publicly on the lips, as if to say,

"Like this. Like this."

And if he says, "Tell us what it's like to lose your life for love,"
present my soul to him, as if to say,

"Like this..."

Whoever out of compassion asks about my stature,
reveal your bent brow, meaning

"Like this..."

Some say the soul leaves the body,
then returns to it again;
show those in denial how you come back home,
meaning

"Like this..."

From every direction that you hear the lovers' lament,
it's all our story, by God, meaning

"Like this..."

This bruised chest is a refuge for any angel,
look up tenderly toward the sky, meaning

"Like this..."

I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret,

"Like this..."

And if they cynically assert, "How does anyone reach the Truth?"
place a candle of purity in the palm of each one's hand, meaning

"Like this..."

I said, "How does the scent of Joseph travel from town to town?"
The scent of Truth wafted up from the world of Hu "like this..."

I said, "How could the scent of Joseph give sight back to my eyes?"
Your breeze gave light to my eyes, like this...

The Sun still shines generously from Tabriz.
It rises up in loyalty and tenderness, like this...


So what did you think? Can you guess which part inspired my story??

5 comments:

  1. This was breathtaking. I read it three times. Thanks for sharing.

    Hmm, let's see if I'm right. Was it this part?

    And if he says, "Tell us what it's like to lose your life for love,"
    present my soul to him, as if to say,

    "Like this..."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting poem. I'd never heard of the poet before. Thanks for introducing me to him (her?).

    I'm going to guess this was the inspiration:

    I am a sky where spirits live.
    Stare into this deepening blue,
    while the breeze says a secret,


    I can't wait to read your story, Nat. Keep up the good words.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That was beautiful. I loved the imagery.

    I'm choosing

    And if they say, "How do clouds part to reveal the full moon?"
    undo the ties of your robe one by one and say,

    "Like this..."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my goodness!!! Thank you for sharing this. I absolutely love that poem! I'm with Victoria - is it the stanza about losing your life for love?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Victoria- I'm glad you liked it!!

    B.E.- Him, lol. Rumi is supposed to be one of the best Persian poets ever =)

    Medeia- Me too. There other other versions out there, but this one is my favourite that I've found.

    Michelle- Im so glad you liked it!!! =)


    Annnnd the "winner" is... B.E.! The part that inspired me most was,

    I am a sky where spirits live.
    Stare into this deepening blue,
    while the breeze says a secret,

    "Like This..."

    It had nothing to do with the romance per se, but the imagery stole my breath away. I knew instantly what I wanted to write about =)

    ReplyDelete

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