Each Note (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi)

Advice doesn’t help lovers!
They’re not the kind of mountain stream
you can build a dam across.

An intellectual doesn’t know what the drunk is feeling!
Don’t try to figure what those lost inside love will do next!

Someone in charge would give up all his power,
if he caught one whiff of the wine-musk
from the room where lovers are doing who-knows- what!

One of them tries to dig a hole through a mountain.
One flees from academic honors.
One laughs at famous mustaches!

Life freezes if it doesn’t get a taste
of this almond cake.
The stars come up spinning
every night, bewildered in love.
They’d grow tired with that revolving, if they weren’t.
They’d say, “How long do we have to Do this!”

God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.

Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don’t try to end it .
BE Your Note.
I’ll show you how it’s enough.

Go up on the roof at night
in the city of the soul.
Let Everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!

Sing loud!

Translation by Coleman Barks

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