Dark Light

The Smell of the Mouth will Reveal It and other poems

by Fatima Haidari, David Keplinger

Three translations from Rumi

translated by Fatima Haidari, with David Keplinger

دوش چه خورده‌ای دلا راست بگو نهان مکن
چون خمشان بی‌گنه روی بر آسمان مکن

باده خاص خورده‌ای نقل خلاص خورده‌ای
بوی شراب می زند خربزه در دهان مکن

باده عام از برون باده عارف از درون
بوی دهان بیان کند تو به زبان بیان مکن

The Smell of the Mouth will Reveal It 

O heart, what did you drink last night, talk, do not hide

Do not lift your head like the innocent, shy, towards the sky

You drank the special wine, some kind of ultimate sweet delicacy

The smell of wine is obvious, don’t try putting cantaloupe in your mouth

The common wine from outside; the mystic’s wine from inside

The smell of the mouth will reveal it, do not give it away with words

ز خاک من اگر گندم برآید
از آن گر نان پزی مستی فزاید

خمیر و نانبا دیوانه گردد
تنورش بیت مستانه سراید

اگر بر گور من آیی زیارت
تو را خرپشته‌ام رقصان نماید

مرا حق از می عشق آفریده‌ست
همان عشقم اگر مرگم بساید


If wheat grew out of my grave
The bread you bake with it, will intoxicate.

The dough and the baker will lose their minds.
The oven will sing drunken couplets.

If you come to visit my grave 
My tombstone will get you dancing.

God created me from the wine of love.
I am love itself when death polishes me.

معشوقه به سامان شد تا باد چنین بادا
کفرش همه ایمان شد تا باد چنین بادا

یاری که دلم خستی در بر رخ ما بستی
غمخواره یاران شد تا باد چنین بادا

از اسلم شیطانی شد نفس تو ربانی
ابلیس مسلمان شد تا باد چنین بادا

خاموش که سرمستم بربست کسی دستم
اندیشه پریشان شد تا باد چنین بادا


The beloved is devoted now, as long as there is being, may it be like this
His doubts became faith, as long as there is being, may it be like this.

That friend who pierced my heart and slammed the door in my face
Now bears the sorrows of my friends. As long as there is being, may it be like this.

From wicked righteousness to your heavenly lust 
Iblis became Muslim: as long as there is being, may it be like this.

Quiet! I am drunk, someone restrain my hand.
My logic is muddled. As long as there is being, may it be like this.

All poems are the works of Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi, a thirteenth-century poet, mystic, Sufi, Islamic scholar, and theologian. His collections of poetry, Masnavi Ma’navi with sixty-four thousand lines, and Divan-e-Shams with over three thousand ghazals, remain two of the most influential works of Farsi literature. He is a best-selling poet in the United States and has been translated into twenty-six languages. In the east, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Iran continue to quarrel over his nationality, the highest form of compliment for an artist.

Photo courtesy of Suad Kamardeen
Related Posts

The Premonitions

Abbi struggles to keep the damp cloth on baby Willy’s puffy red cheek. Her cat, Miner, watches. Since…

A Sparrow’s Tongue

A blue sparrow landed on my windowsill, and began to warble a melody that embodied all the beauty…