9/03/2005

Rumi: Who Says Words With My Mouth?

"All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern. When I get back around to that place, I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear, who hears my voice? Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way.
Let whoever brought me here take me back.

This poetry. I never know what I'm going to say. I don't plan it. When I'm outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all."

translated by Coleman Barks, in, The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy, Sacred Poems from Many Cultures, edited by Robert Bly