Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rumi again

Back to The Big Red Book translated by Coleman Barks. Great poetry, written in the 13th century, but not by an Italian poet, sorry Bob.
Page 89, The Day I Die is the poem. Simple, as most of Rumi's work, and plain. Many of the poems in this book are very easy to read, easy to internalize, and this one is no exception.
"On the day I die,
when I am being carried to the grave,
Don't weep.

Don't say, He's gone. He's gone,
death has nothing to do with going away."

I love it. Not only did Robert hunter borrow language from this poem for the song "He's gone" but he also used imagery regarding death not really having to do with going but with the arriving elsewhere, such as "where the wind don't blow so strange".

Rumi says "Your mouth closes here/and immediately opens/ with a shout of joy there
and Hunter says "nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile."

Dead Heads will argue with me forever, but Hunter and Garcia were very in tune with the Bible and with other religious and mystical writings. So much of Hunter's lyrics are based on, if not a belief in, a strong respect for God.

At least Rumi and his fans don't try to hide it.

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