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This Will Not Win Him -- Jalaluddin Rumi

Guest poem sent in by Seema Pai
(Poem #1238) This Will Not Win Him
 Reason says,
 I will win him with my eloquence.

 Love says,
 I will win him with my silence.

 Soul says,
 How can I ever win him
 When all I have is already his?

 He does not want, he does not worry,
 He does not seek a sublime state of euphoria -
 How then can I win him
 With sweet wine or gold? . . .

 He is not bound by the senses -
 How then can I win him
 With all the riches of China?

 He is an angel,
 Though he appears in the form of a man.
 Even angels cannot fly in his presence -
 How then can I win him
 By assuming a heavenly form?

 He flies on the wings of God,
 His food is pure light -
 How then can I win him
 With a loaf of baked bread?

 He is neither a merchant, nor a tradesman -
 How then can I win him
 With a plan of great profit?

 He is not blind, nor easily fooled -
 How then can I win him
 By lying in bed as if gravely ill?

 I will go mad, pull out my hair,
 Grind my face in the dirt -
 How will this win him?

 He sees everything -
 how can I ever fool him?

 He is not a seeker of fame,
 A prince addicted to the praise of poets -
 How then can I win him
 With flowing rhymes and poetic verses?

 The glory of his unseen form
 Fills the whole universe
 How then can I win him
 With a mere promise of paradise?

 I may cover the earth with roses,
 I may fill the ocean with tears,
 I may shake the heavens with praises -
 none of this will win him.

 There is only one way to win him,
 this Beloved of mine -

 Become his.
-- Jalaluddin Rumi
This poem actually arrived in my mailbox this morning from a 'Rumi poetry'
egroup I subscribed to recently. I love the way the poem builds up in
passion and desperation and ends in a quiet moment of realisation. Dont have
much to say about the poem except that I thought it was *so* romantic and
beautiful even in translation, that I wonder just how pretty it might have
been if I could read and understand it in Farsi.

Seema

51 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Raj said...

However much the poem may influence one romantically, I believe this
was not originally written as a love poem, but as a prayer! The 'Him'
in the poem refers to God.

Jalaluddin Rumi was a 13th century Turkish Sufi mystic. This seems to be a
characteristic of many Sufi poems: they can be interpreted as beautiful
romantic love songs or extremely devotional prayers. I am not really
knowledgeable about the Sufi sect, but I believe it may have involved
achieving some sort of spiritual bliss by falling into total love with
God.

For those associated with South Asian culture by birth or choice, many of
us are acquainted with Sufi love (or devotional, whichever way you want to
look at it) poetry in the form of the lyrically supreme romantic songs of
the late Nusrat FA Khan. 'Aafreen Aafreen' is one that I believe, best
represents the genre of Sufi romantic/devotional poetry that most South
Asians will be acquainted with.

Here is where I found a biography of Rumi
[broken link] http://www.digiserve.com/mystic/Muslim/Rumi/index.html

Great poem, anyway! I wish I could hear it sung too.
Raj

Suresh Ramasubramanian said...

At 12:14 PM 4/27/2003 -0700, Martin Julian DeMello wrote:
>"This Will Not Win Him"
>
> Reason says,
> I will win him with my eloquence.
>
> Love says,
> I will win him with my silence.

Rumi's concept is very similar to the idea of "Bhakti" (or the love divine)
as expressed in Hindu philosophy. Almost word for word. Thanks for an
excellent poem, Seema and Minstrels.

srs

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