“Whispers of the Beloved” by Rumi
(Written in the 13th century / This edition: Thorsons 1999)
Taken with a frangipani flower—or “leelawadee” in Thai.
I want to be free
from this ego dog of mine.
I tie a collar of repentance
around his neck,
but once he sniffs the scent of blood
he tears it to pieces.
How can I tame this mad dog of mine?
Rumi is probably the most internationally-known Persian poet. I often see his poems here and there on social media, and have always been taken away by all the emotions he conveys in just a few short, simple lines. It astounds me to know that his poems, in the form of quatrains, are around 800 years old but the feelings and emotions he expresses—they are so timeless.
A few months ago I saw this poem by him and it keeps resounding in my mind. Whenever I think of “Rumi”, this is the one I remember by heart:
You wander from room to room
Hunting for the diamond necklace
That is already around your neck
It gives me this melancholic feel and it does make me sad, but I just love how beautifully written it is. And it’s so simple, yet says so much. Because of that poem, I ordered this book—a collection of his short quatrains—through Amazon Japan just a few days before I moved to Bangkok. Unfortunately that poem does not appear in the book I got, but…it’s okay. Like I said, I remember it by heart.
The poems in this book resonate the feelings of longing and sorrow due to love, so I get pretty heavy-hearted whenever I read them. Try Google-Image search “Rumi poems” and you’ll see that he also has poems with motivational and religious vibes. I prefer his love-related poems though, so I’d recommend this book.
Here are a few quatrains from this book that I like:
Your charm lured me
to the end of madness.
I lost my composure.
Humbled, I was sent away.
Then, You touched my heart,
transformed and shaped me
into any form You fancied.
is the one
who’s not concerned
with having more or less.
Unbound by name and fame
he is free from sorrow
from the world and
You know what love is?
It is all kindness, generosity.
Disharmony prevails when
you confuse lust with love, while
the distance between the two