Rapture

Rating: 5.0
Where is the lost love you seek?
O my love, do you have a clue?
Listen, and it will softly speak,
Hidden somewhere inside of you.
You search outside in the city
And inside your dwellings too
Like wandering chickens in squalid dirt
Pecking ceaselessly for a grain or two.
O Bulleh Shah! Love itself beckons
And itself enters heart of the true.

Pious flock to Mecca in rapture
My pilgrimage in Love I capture

Cleanse your heart to behold the grace
Of the beauty contained in your gaze
Why partake of world's wanton ways
All you need is Love's warm embrace

Running blindly at a maddening pace
Trapped inside this meandering maze
Having lost world's every winnable race
Look! beloved dwelling in your inner space
Smiles at the frivolity of the path you trace

The lost thing is at home for you to greet
Searching the city, loud drums you beat
Love distinguishes not self and the other
It pervades every heart in equal measure
Wise know that heart is God's enclosure
Discover it and find world's only treasure

Examine your faculty of reason, O fool
Nature isn't just your instrument or tool
Ignoring signs of Nature's magnificence
You refuse to believe in God's existence

The Divine is found not in waters pure
(Or frogs and fish would discover)
And not in fields and forests for sure
(Or cows and cattle would uncover)
Not even mosques and temples galore
(Or hanging bats will find in a prayer)

Bulleh Shah, the Divine only to those gets revealed
Who open their heart and let go of ill will concealed

Love bears no armor, not even a sword
Yet lovers with its every move get gored

You have become learned
Thousand books you read indeed
Never read your own self
To it, you seldom pay much heed
In mosques and temples
You search for answers profound
Read your inner script
For there are answers to be found
You fight the devil
Looking for heaven's indemnity
Curb your greed
Fight your own ego and vanity

Bulleh Shah, man has lifted the veil from heaven
But that which dwells inside him remains hidden

If plain truth I speak harsh resentment I beget
But how can I tell lies when nothing else is left

I have tried in vain to give up my longing
A force beckons I continue my belonging

O Lord! Let me love your every form, I entreat
Even ones from which others in revulsion retreat

(Translation of BULLEH SHAH from Punjabi)
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Topic(s) of this poem: inner voice,inner world,love,philosophical ,spirituality
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
I am not sure that this translation represents a self-contained poem by Bulleh Shah. I could not find any such poem in Bulleh Shah's collections. I suppose this was put together as a collage of verse taken from various poems of Bulleh Shah by the Pakistani singer and song writer, Hadiqa Kiani, for musical rendition. If so, Ms. Kiani has demonstrated excellent sensitivity in pulling the material together in terms of a connecting thread, an overall rhythm and the general structural treatment of the material. There are also multiple levels of innovation, interpretative freshness and artistic creativity in Ms. Kiani's folk-music-based rendition of this poem (YouTube video link attached) . First there is musical innovation in combining the traditional forms of qawwali with a set of local folk influences. All instruments are local, some from an era and a culture that might very well be at the brink of fading into oblivion with the march of modernity. As she draws from these rich cultural and musical traditions, Ms. Kiani presents a refreshingly modern and abstract setting for the interpretation to be played out. This is obvious in everything from the minimalist set design in the (local)architectural setting to the costumes and jewelry even before the music and the instruments are taken into consideration. I call this MODERNITY WITHIN TRADITION. Cultures learn from each other as they interact. Modernity can evolve from within a culture with outside influences or without them, but true modernity preserves and nurtures local essence. Tradition is not an ossified set of practices that is to be conserved, preserved and archived in some dusty showcase of a museum, but it is to be (re) interpreted in the living moment to inform and shape the present. This refreshingly abstract performance by Ms. Kiani is an outstanding tribute to the timeless nature of Bulleh Shah's poetry that transcends culture. Sorry for the long introduction, but I felt compelled to write a few accolades for Ms. Kiani's excellent work without running into which I would not have done this translation.
(This site does not allow me to post a YouTube link. Please search in YouTube for Hadiqa Kiani Kamli and it should come out at the top as a 8 minute 41 second video
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COMMENTS
Dr Antony Theodore 02 April 2019
Cleanse your heart to behold the grace Of the beauty contained in your gaze Why partake of world's wanton ways All you need is Love's warm embrace..... examine your faculty of reason. a very very nice poem. full of ideas. thank u. tony
1 0 Reply
Me Poet Yeps Poet 28 March 2019
All you need is Love's warm embrace ur scientifically tooo MUCHLY long you sing a SWINGING song now do read my lovely poem MOM'S SMILES O POET SCIENTIST TO whom do you belong to be longed
0 0 Reply
Nosheen Irfan 16 March 2019
Interesting to know from notes you did this translation from Ms Kiani's musical rendition. She is in a class of her own. All credit to you for this amazingly good translation. Writing poetry is not as hard as translating someone's work. Shows your expertise in language and the acuteness of your intellect.
1 0 Reply
Nosheen Irfan 16 March 2019
Justice done to a classic of Bulleh Shah. Such timeless poetry needs to reach a wider audience. Thanks for a stellar translation. Kudos!
1 0 Reply

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