A selection of 10 of Rumi’s ‘Love’ Quartrains – Translated by Shahram Shiva

Jun 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Poetry

Shahram Shiva is a performance poet, award-winning translator and scholar of Rumi and author of several books based in the USA. He is known for his rich and entrancing concerts of Rumi, the 13th Century Persian mystic poet. Since 1992 Shahram Shiva has been presenting Rumi concerts at the United Nations, Smithsonian Institution, Yale, Columbia and New York Universities amongst many others. His website on Rumi is at : www.rumi.net. As one of the earliest exponents of mystical Sufi poetry, the ‘love’ quartrains speak of the mystical bond between man and the divine, in a secular, personal sense. Reproduced by permission from Shahram Shiva.

To Love is to be God.
Never will a Lover’s chest
feel any sorrow.
Never will a Lover’s robe
be touched by mortals.
Never will a Lover’s body
be found buried in the earth.
To Love is to be God.


Bring the pure wine of
love and freedom.
But sir, a tornado is coming.
More wine, we’ll teach this storm
A thing or two about whirling.


You think you are alive
because you breathe air?
Shame on you,
that you are alive in such a limited way.
Don’t be without Love,
so you won’t feel dead.
Die in Love
and stay alive forever.


Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī (1207-1273) continues to be one of the most widely read poets worldwide, his original works being in New Persian. He can be posthumously considered the founding father of the whirling dervish sect of Sufism, and his poetry can be considered one of the best secular, transnational examples ever penned. Rumi died on 17 December 1273 in Konya, in Anatolia, modern Turkey, and his epitaph reads :
“When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.”
His works and philosophy was based on seeking truth and peace, by putting man before any religious doctrine, and tolerance and love for all was a fundamental theme of his work.
His work has been translated in numerous languages, and in 2007 he was described as the post popular poet in America.

Last night,
I saw the realm of joy and pleasure.
There I melted like salt;
no religion, no blasphemy,
no conviction or uncertainty remained.
In the middle of my heart,
a star appeared,
and the seven heavens were lost in its brilliance.


The Lover is ever drunk with Love.
He is mad,
she is free.
He sings with delight,
she dances with ecstasy.
Caught by our own thoughts,
we worry about everything.
But once we get drunk on that Love
whatever will be, will be.


Love rests on no foundation.
It is an endless ocean,
with no beginning or end.
a suspended ocean,
riding on a cushion of ancient secrets.
All souls have drowned in it,
and now dwell there.
One drop of that ocean is hope,
and the rest is fear.


A true Lover doesn’t follow any one religion,
be sure of that.
Since in the religion of Love,
there is no irreverence or faith.
When in Love,
body, mind, heart and soul don’t even exist.
Become this,
fall in Love,
and you will not be separated again.


Love came,
and became like blood in my body.
It rushed through my veins and
encircled my heart.
Everywhere I looked,
I saw one thing.
Love’s name written
on my limbs,
on my left palm,
on my forehead,
on the back of my neck,
on my right big toe…
Oh, my friend,
all that you see of me
is just a shell,
and the rest belongs to love.


This is a gathering of Lovers.
In this gathering
there is no high, no low,
no smart, no ignorant,
no special assembly,
no grand discourse,
no proper schooling required.
There is no master,
no disciple.
This gathering is more like a drunken party,
full of tricksters, fools,
mad men and mad women.
This is a gathering of Lovers.


When we talk about the witness in our verse,
we talk about you.
A pure heart and a noble demeanor
cannot compete with your radiant face.
They will ask you
what you have produced.
Say to them,
except for Love,
what else can a Lover produce?

Correspondence :

The Editor
Metta-Physics Magazine
Suite 34
67-68 Hatton Garden
London EC1N 8JY
United Kingdom


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