Thursday, July 1, 2010

Do You Love Me? a poem by Rumi.

Post 517 - Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi, also known as Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi, was a 13th century Persian poet, philosopher and mysic. He was born in 1207 in greater Balkh, which is in present day Afghanistan. He died in 1273 in Konya in present day Turkey. He was laid to rest beside his father, and a splendid shrine was erected over his remains. This Mevlana Mausoleum continues to draw pilgrims from all parts of the Muslim and non-Muslim world to this day. Rumi’s epitaph reads: "When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men."

His original works are widely read across the Persian-speaking world. His poetry has influenced Persian literature as well as Urdu, Punjabi and other Pakistani languages written in Perso/Arabic script, such as Pashto and Sindhi. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and transposed into various formats. In 2007, he was described by the BBC as the "most popular poet in America."

He believed that in life, “You wander from room to room, hunting for the diamond necklace that’s already around your neck.” He also said, “Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.”

Do You Love Me? by Rumi

A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love yourself more
than you love me?

The beloved replied,
I have died to myself
and I live for you.

I’ve disappeared from myself
and my attributes.
I am present only for you.

I have forgotten all my learning,
but from knowing you
I have become a scholar.

I have lost all my strength,
but from your power
I am able.

If I love myself
I love you.
If I love you
I love myself.


Lowell said...

John, I read many of your posts. I'm impressed with the volume and value of them. As for Rumi, I am a big fan, love his work. But I interpreted this particular poem in an unintended way, I'm sure. Wouldn't you describe their relationship as co-dependent? ;)
Lowell Nerenberg

john cotter said...

Thank you for the kind words.
I notice now that I left off the last line however. The last verse should read:
If I love myself
I love you.
If I love you
I love myself.
Co-dependent seems appropriate, just like the blog writer and the reader.
Another take is that love dares the self to leave the self behind...

Mayse said...

here is one of my opinions about Rumi's work!

BK said...

That is a beautiful poem by Rumi; in the end, there is only love.