“No one knows what makes the soul wake up so happy …” ~ Rumi
No one knows what makes
the soul wake up so happy.
Maybe a dawn breeze has
blown the veil from the face of God.
A thousand new moons appear.
Roses open laughing.
Hearts become perfect rubies
like those from Badakshan.
The body turns entirely spirit.
Leaves become branches in this wind.
Why is it now so easy to surrender,
even for those already surrendered?
There is no answer to any of this.
No one knows the source of joy.
A poet breathes into a reed flute,
and the tip of every hair makes music.
Shams sails down clods of dirt from the roof,
and we take jobs as doorkeepers for him.
This poem is an excerpt from Chapter 1, Al-Fattah, The Opener which is from the book Rumi: The Big Red Book (see attribution below) … with the following preamble by Coleman for the chapter and the poems within:
“… There is an opening that is beyond thought. In Rumi’s poetry it is often associated with spring. It is in the soul’s life, that natural opening where we stay fresh and young. When we act out of mean-spiritedness, the closing up of the ego, we feel locked out of life. Rumi suggests that we “put the head under the feet.” We must not be led by the mind, but by a spontaneity in the heart-center, the soul, which is always starting out, beginning again. It cannot be said with words. Music and song do better.” ~ Coleman Barks
Coleman Barks has the amazing gift of translating the original Persian/Farsi text in a manner that resonates with the English speaking world … he took the ever present “freshness” that is alive in Rumi and expressed it in English – an incredible feat particularly when you find that Coleman had never heard of Rumi prior to 1976 when Robert Bly handed him a Rumi translation and said “please release these poems from their cages!” … and …
As a result of Bly’s insightful genius in seeing Coleman’s literary gift, the English speaking world has been able, and continues, to relish Coleman’s accomplished brilliance as he brings Rumi’s “Divinely drunk madness” even “closer” to so many of us, not just in the west but everywhere in the world.