I died from minerality and became vegetable

This poem was flagged up to me by “JimmyMarshall” on Reddit, and I thought it was worth sharing with the world. It is by the Persian poet Rumi, and well worth a read:

I died from minerality and became vegetable;

And From vegetativeness I died and became animal.

I died from animality and became man.

Then why fear disappearance through death?

Next time I shall die

Bringing forth wings and feathers like angels;

After that, soaring higher than angels –

What you cannot imagine,

I shall be that.

The translation on wikipedia is quite different,  but equally evocative:

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels bless’d; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones,
To Him we shall return.

Make of this what you will. Every now and again, something just comes into my path that is worth sharing.

I hope you appreciated it.

Thanks JimmyMarshall!

Chris

 

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About Chris

Scholar of religion/nonreligion... PhD Student (Lancaster University), blogger, singer, actor, thinker... Northern Irish living in Scotland. Co-founder of The Religious Studies Project. Director at the NSRN. Baritone masquerading as a tenor. Vegetarian for no particular reason.

2 responses to “I died from minerality and became vegetable”

  1. ffuchse says :

    I love this. In general I like the second translation more, although not the “doth” bits – and I’m not sure what kind of organ music they had in mediaeval Persia…

  2. religionandmore says :

    I am glad you like it! According to Wikipedia (again, I hate looking up things there), “The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria” (285–222 BC)… we learn something new every day I guess!

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