15 MARCH 2016


December of every year is an occasion for a number of devotees to go to Konya, a town now in Turkey, where one of the most noted Sufi poets, Maulana Rumi, lived most of his life. They gather and recite, and enjoy a week of cultural exchange. Konya also happens to be the town represented in parliament by Turkey's current Prime Minister, Davutoglu. In honor of Maulana Rumi's 809th birthday, we share this poem by him:

Would you Bow?

If the Friend rose inside you,
would you bow?

Would you wonder where that one
came from and how?

If you say,
"I will bow," that's important.

If you answer,
"But can I be sure?"
it will keep the meeting from happening,

As busy people rush there and back here murmuring,
Now I know; no, I don't know now.

Have you seen a camel with its eyes covered turn
and walk one way, then turn another?

Be silent and revolve with no will.
Don't raise your hand to ask anything.

Holy one, sitting in the body's well
like Joseph, a rope is there in front of you.

Lift your hand to that!
A blind man has bought you
for eighteen counterfeit coins.

Empty metal cups bang together,
and the full moon slides out of hiding.

Make one sound, please!
You are the precious hyacinth
that the sickle will spare,
not the wheat plant Adam ate.

I remind you with these poems
to dress in the flower of Beloved's qualities,
not your torn robe of self-accusation.