Sunday, 3 April 2011

Sleep On (Rumi)

This is my version of a poem by the 13th century poet Rumi, based on the literal translation by Arberry. I originally did this last summer, but I didn't understand it then. I only understood it now, when typing and re-writing it to post here. The "you" and "we" are not necessarily corresponding to separate entities. They may be part of the same, but they are the relative versus the absolute, the body/soul versus the mystical spirit.
Sleep On
You who are not possessed by Love, bid goodnight and be gone.
Since Love and Love’s sorrow are not your lot, you may sleep on.
We, whose passion for the Loved One has set alight our heart,
Are burning now with Love’s sorrow that we should be apart.
And so in quest for union, we hurry like a river,
While you who have never had your heart pierced by Love’s quiver,
Nor suffered ceaseless anguish for the source from whence Love shone,
Since your passion is for suppers and desserts, so sleep on.
Love’s path is not among the seventy-two ways, so sleep on,
For your love and way is pure hypocrisy and a con.
The sunrise is our dawn cup, the twilight dusk our supper,
In quest for the grail of truth, we melt ourselves like copper.
You, whose philosopher’s stone is the bedfellow, sleep on.
Like a drunk, you fall and rise till night's passed, yet still sleep on.
Now it’s prayer time, but fate bars me from slumber, so be gone.
Your sleep passed you by, now you’re fresh for slumber, so sleep on.
We have fallen prey into Love’s hand – now what will Love do?
You in your own hands, sleep on, choosing the right hand that’s true.
I’m the one who drinks blood, you my soul the one who eats on,
Since fine foods for a certainty demand slumber, sleep on.
I have abandoned hope for my brain – my head is undone.
If you aspire for a fresh and juicy brain, then sleep on.
I have rent the garment of speech, and let the words be gone.
For you who are not naked and possess a robe, sleep on.

Friday, 1 April 2011

The Adjustment Bureau (US, 2011)

Genre: Romance
I only saw this because my bus was late, then broke down, so I missed a meeting, and not wanting to waste the journey thought I’d go see a movie instead. Perhaps it was God’s will! Isn’t it a noble thought: to align oneself with God’s plan. But how would you feel about aligning yourself to the plan of “The Adjustments Bureau”, a plan designed by its chairman and executed by its agents for the best interests of humanity? Could you sacrifice your love for the sake of your loved one? Or would you try to rebel against the all-powerful and change their plan? And how could you, insignificant in the grand scheme, possibly succeed? Unless that too were allowed by the plan… So begins and ends this Matrix-style romantic thriller set in the streets, offices and mysterious other-world of New York as the two protagonists, a career politician and a contemporary dancer, embrace in the bitter madness of love against all the odds. When you walk out the door and see a man with a hat, you will ask yourself… “Is he one of them?” But in the arms of your love you will know… all else is invisible.