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Wedding Poems

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May the blessings which flow in all weddings
be gathered, God, together in our wedding!
The blessings of the Night of Power,
                        the month of fasting
                        the festival to break the fast
the blessings of the meeting of Adam and Eve
the blessings of the meeting of Joseph and Jacob
the blessings of gazing on the paradise of all abodes
and yet another blessing which cannot be put in words:
                      the fruitful scattering of joy
                      of the children of the Shayak
                      and our eldest!

In companionship and happiness
                       may you be like milk and honey
in union and fidelity,
                        just like sugar and halva.
May the blessings of those who toast
                       and the one who pours the wine
anoint the ones who said Amen and
                        the one who said the prayer.

Translation by Franklin D. Lewis "Rumi -- Past and Present, East and
West
" Oneworld Publications, Oxford, 2000

{

This Marriage - Ode 2667

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcome
as the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

Kabir Helminski "Love is a Stranger" Threshold Books, 1993

 

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May these nuptials be blessed for us, may this marriage be blessed for us,
May it be ever like milk and sugar, this marriage like wine and halvah.
May this marriage be blessed with leaves and fruits like the date tree;
May this marriage be laughing forever, today,tomorrow, like the houris of paradise.
May this marriage be the sign of compassion and the approval of happiness here and hereafter;
May this marriage be fair of fame, fair of face and fair of omen as the moon in the azure sky.
I have fallen silent for words cannot describe how the spirit has mingled with this marriage.

 

Translation by A.J. Arberry "Mystical Poems of Rumi 2"
The University of Chicago Press, 1991

{

Our feast, our wedding
Will be auspicious to the world.
God fit the feast and wedding
To our length like a proper garment.

Venus and the moon
Will be matched to each other,
The parrot with sugar.
The most beautifully-faced Beloved
Makes a different kind of wedding every night.

With the favor of our Sultan's prosperity,
Hearts become spacious
And men pair up with each other.
Troubles and anxieties are all gone.

Here tonight, You go again
To the wedding and feasting.
O beauty who adorned our city,
You will be groom to the beauties.

How nicely You walk in our neighborhood,
Coming to us so beautifully.
O our river, O One
Who is searching for us,
How nicely You flow in our stream.

How nicely You flow with our desires,
Unfastening the binding of our feet.
You make us walk so nicely, holding our hand,
O Joseph of our world.

Cruelty suits You well.
It's a mistake for us to expect Your loyalty.
Step as You wish on our bloody Soul.

O Soul of my Soul, pull our Souls
To our Beloved's temple.
Take this piece of bone.
Give it as a gift to our Huma*.

O wise ones, give thanks
To our Sultan's kindness, who adds Souls to Soul,
Keep dancing, O considerate ones.
Keep whirling and dancing.

At the wedding night of rose and Nasrin*
I hang the drum on my neck.
Tonight, the tambourine and small drum
Will become our clothes.

Be silent! Venus becomes the Cupbearer tonight
And offers glasses to our sweetheart,
Whose skin is fair and rosy,
Who takes a glass and drinks.

For the sake of God, because of our praying,
Now Sufis become exuberant
At the assembly of God's Absence.
They put the belt of zeal on their waists
And start Sama'*.

One group of people froth like the sea,
Prostrating like waves.
The other group battles like swords,
Drinking the blood of our glasses.

Be silent! Tonight, the Sultan
Went to the kitchen.
He is cooking with joy.
But a most unusual thing,
Tonight, the Beloved is cooking our Halva*.

-- Ghazal (ode) 31 Divan-i Kebir, Meter 1
Translated by Nevit Oguz Ergin
Current Walla Walla, WA, U.S.A

* Huma: legendary bird which eats bone. The person on whom she casts her shadow becomes a Sultan. Also called stately bird.
* Nasrin: A variety of rose.
* Sama': Ritual of the Whirling Dervishes.
* Halva: Sweetmeats.

{

A Marriage at Daybreak

Do you know, brother, that you are a prince?
A son of Adam. And that the witch of Kabul,
who holds you with her color and her perfume,
is the world?
Say the words, I take refuge
with the Lord of the Daybreak.

Avoid the hot breathing that keeps you tied
to her. She breathes on knots and no one
can unknot them. That’s why the prophets came.

Look for those whose breath is cool.
When they breathe on knots, they loosen.

The old woman of the world has had you
in her net for sixty years. Her breathing
is the breathing of God’s anger. But God’s mercy
has more strength. Mercy is prior to wrath.

You must marry your soul.
That wedding is the way.
Union with the world is sickness.

But it’s hard to be separated from these forms!
You don’t have enough patience to give this up?
But how do you have enough patience
to do without God?

You can’t quit drinking the earth’s dark drink?
But how can you not drink from this other fountain?

You get restless, you say, when you don’t sip
the world’s fermentation. But if for one second
you saw the beauty of the clear water of God,
you’d think this other was embalming fluid.

Nearness to the Beloved is the splendor
of your life. Marry the Beloved.
Let the thorn of the ego slide from your foot.

What a relief to be empty!
Then God can live your life.

When you stay tied to mind and desire, you stumble
in the mud like a nearsighted donkey.

Keep smelling Joseph’s shirt.
Don’t be satisfied with borrowed light.
Let your brow and your face illuminate with union.

(IV, 3189-3240)

Rumi: One-Handed Basket Weaving
Coleman Barks, Maypop, 1991

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Wedding Night

The day I've died, my pall is moving on -
But do not think my heart is still on earth!
Don't weep and pity me: "Oh woe, how awful!"
You fall in devil's snare - woe, that is awful!
Don't cry "Woe, parted!" at my burial -
For me this is the time of joyful meeting!
Don't say "Farewell!" when I'm put in the grave -
A curtin is it for eternal bliss.
You saw "descending" - now look at the rising!
Is setting dangerous for sun and moon?
To you it looks like setting, but it's rising;
The coffin seems a jail, yet it means freedom.
Which seed fell in the earth that did not grow there?
Why do you doubt the fate of human seed?
What bucket came not filled from out the cistern?
Why should the Yusaf "Soul" then fear this well?
Close here your mouth and open it on that side.
So that your hymns may sound in Where-no-place!

Annemarie Schimmel "Look! This is Love - Poems of Rumi"
Shambhala, 1991

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Last updated: May 9, 2004
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