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!
by 13th century Persian poet, Rumi
If anyone asks you what the virgins of Paradise are like,
show your face, as if to say,
If anyone asks you about the rising moon,
go up to the roof, as if to say,
If anyone boasts about the fragrance of musk,
just let down your hair and say,
And if they say, "How do clouds part to reveal the full moon?"
undo the ties of your robe one by one and say,
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,
Whoever out of compassion asks about my stature,
reveal your bent brow, meaning
Some say the soul leaves the body,
then returns to it again;
show those in denial how you come back home,
From every direction that you hear the lovers' lament,
it's all our story, by God, meaning
This bruised chest is a refuge for any angel,
look up tenderly toward the sky, meaning
I am a sky where spirits live.
Stare into this deepening blue,
while the breeze says a secret,
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
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??