Coleman Barks, the preeminent Rumi translator, says : “Sohbet has no English equivalent. It means something like “mystical conversation on mystical subjects” …” … Rumi’s prolific poetry is seemingly a sohbet between him and Shams of Tabriz. Often Rumi uses voices in his poetry that “… come from many points in the inner-outer spectrum …” and according to Coleman, they appear to be a conversation between the “… personal self and a without-form presence within and beyond the senses …” and “… sometimes that presence, amazingly, speaks to Rumi through the poetry: voices slide back and forth within the same poem! …” …

Here’s one such “fluid” conversation … with “discernment” and “surrender” and more : discernment (or awareness) dissolves all illusion (e.g., the grandeur and comfort of the palace, etc) … and surrender into the Divine is indeed the “safest” way to be … because anything can be “faced or met” as it is “seen” for what it truly is …



— — — —

You said, “Who’s at the door?”
I said. “Your slave.”

You said, “What do you want?”
I said. “To see you and bow.”

“How long will you wait?”
“Until you call.”

We talked through the door.
I claimed a great love and that I had given up
what the world gives to be in that love.

You said “Such claims require a witness.”
I said, “This longing, these tears.”

You said, “Discredited witnesses.”
I said, “Surely not!”

“You said, “Who did you come with?”
The majestic imagination you gave me.”


“Why did you come?”
“The musk of your wine was in the air.”

“What is your intention?”

“What do you want from me?”

Then you asked, “Where have you been most comfortable?”
“In the palace.”

“What did you see there?”
“Amazing things.”

“Then why is it so desolate?”
“Because all that can be taken away in a second.”

“Who can do that?”
“This clear discernment.”

“Where can you live safely then?”
“In surrender.”

“Is there no threat of disaster?”
“Only what comes in your street, inside your love.”

rumi love street

“How do you walk there?”
“In perfection.”

Now silence.

If I told more of this conversation.
those listening would leave themselves.

There would be no door,
no roof or window either!

Poem and Coleman’s remarks: From The Essential Rumi, Translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne.

This post is based on a Google+ Post.

Images (edited) : 1) Awareness by sciencefreakCCO Public Domain, 2) Low tide during sunset by Pok RieCCO Public Domain, 3) Ibiza moonshine by Ivar Abrahamsen, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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