There is some kiss we want

by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Coleman Barks
Original Language Persian/Farsi & Turkish

There is some kiss we want
with our whole lives,
the touch of Spirit on the body.

Seawater begs the pearl
to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild Darling!

At night, I open the window
and ask the moon to come
and press its face against mine.
Breathe into me.

Close the language-door,
and open the love-window.

The moon won't use the door,
only the window.

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Isn't this a wonderful selection?

I haven't identified the original verses, so I don't know how closely Barks's version reflects the original lines. Barks tends to do rather loose renditions of Rumi, but with a sense of the poem's heart and passionate abandon.

There is some kiss we want
with our whole lives...

Whatever we spend our lives doing, whatever we desperately seek or crave through the decades, underlying it all, that's what we really want-- that secret kiss, that feeling of being touched by Spirit. Not is some intellectual or philosophical sense, but in our embodied lives, not as a feeling or a thought or a belief, but as a sort of recognition. A self-recognition. We want to know in the deepest sense. Everything else we seek on a more surface level is either in pursuit of that, or sometimes in denial of that, but always an outgrowth of it, that kiss we want with our whole lives.

Close the language-door,
and open the love-window.

Try as we might, we can't think our way into heaven. No matter how skillfully we conceptualize and elaborate even the most elevated ideas, that isn't the way in.

The open heart is the way. It is the open window. Best for the verbalizing mind to fall silent or, when it is active, to work in service to the awakening heart.

Because, after all...

The moon won't use the door,
only the window.


PS- Website Adventures

I have been a bit distracted this week trying to sort out multiple technical problems with the Poetry Chaikhana's website and Internet service provider. Hopefully, this is nothing you have bumped into trying to visit the site. We should have everything resolved soon. It's all behind the scenes stuff that you don't need to be especially concerned with, but since it has been a major focus for my week, I thought I would mention it.

At some point I should probably do a major redesign of the Poetry Chaikhana site. I have had the site up for 15 years now. Quite an accomplishment on the peripatetic web! While the content has expanded and changed, much of the basic design and structure is the same as when I started. Since I run the Poetry Chaikhana in my spare time, and balanced with chronic fatigue issues, I have only done basic maintenance since that initial creation. It might be getting time to bring the site into the modern era of web design before long. It's a matter of being able to organize my schedule and finances to dedicate the time necessary.

Maybe I should ask you, the Poetry Chaikhana community: Would you appreciate an updated Poetry Chaikhana site? Not only the look and feel, which feels a bit static by modern sensibilities, but with a more dynamic and searchable structure. While I don't know exactly when I will get to changes, I do welcome your feedback.

Recommended Books: Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology) This Dance of Bliss: Ecstatic Poetry from Around the World Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from Sufi Wisdom
More Books >>

There is some kiss