AAS/RLS 380 – Fall 2008
of the following ghazals.
Analyze the meaning of the poem, line by
In doing so, explain how the form (the poetic image or symbol, or the technical
term of the Sufi vocabulary) gets the meaning across.
Support your interpretation by
reference to other verses (e.g., by making use of the index to SPL).
the line-by-line analysis, write an essay explaining the overall sense of the poem.
is Rumi trying to say?
How does this poem fit into his overall worldview?
How long will you run from me, wandering from place to place?
Your spirit's in my hand, like the neck of a walking-stick.
How long have you turned and turned, traveling the world in vain—
Have you seen any faithfulness from the boastful herd?
Suppose, poor man, you've wandered the world for a few days,
like the dogs, looking for carrion, hungry and ragged.
Dead in your heart, you seek the dead.
Like a mortician's apprentice,
you've taken your clothes from a dead man's shroud.
You've never seen a living person, so you don't recognize the dead—
How long will you embrace the paintings on the wall?
You think your pockets full of potsherds hold gold and jewels.
You won't believe me until death brings annihilation.
You say, "What should I do with all this gold?"
Give it away—
I'm going to heaven where you can't buy anything with gold.
You're not an owl—you're a nightingale!
Why are you stuck here?
What about the orchard, the meadow, the roses, the cypress?
People are moving about, it seems that day has come—
give spirit to the day, O spirit, for day has come.
How many nights we’ve spent, how many days
in heartache and joy for You—but now day has come.
Right now in many cities of the world it’s night—
but here, at this moment, day has come.
A whole world is sleeping in the night of forgetfulness—
for us the sun of love has risen and day has come.
Whoever is not a lover has no day—
for those who dwell in love and madness, day has come.
Don’t look for morning in the corner of this house—
turn your face up—up there, day has come.