February 04, 2010

Food For The Soul

As food nourishes our bodies, satisfies our hunger and sustains us, poetry, music and rhythm feed our soul and bring joy to our hearts. I grew up appreciating and enjoying poetry. Maybe it's in my DNA passed down from my mother to me or just because I grew up listening to poems, reading poetry and  memorizing them at school like the majority of Iranian kids. Now, in addition to my recipes and food from my culture, I would like to occasionally share a poem with you all.

Today's poem is by Mowlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi (1207-1273). This is the first poem from the first book of Masnavi.

The Song of The Reed

Hearken to this Reed forlorn,
Breathing, even since 'twas torn
From its rushy bed, a strain
Of impassioned love and pain
"The secret of my song, though near,
None can see and none can hear.
Oh for a friend to know the sign
And mingle all his love with mine!
'Tis the flame of love that fired me,
"Tis the wine of Love that inspired me.
Wouldst thou learn how lovers bleed,
Hearken, Hearken to the Reed!"

~Poem by: Rumi
~Rhymed (Abbreviated) translation by: Nicholson, 1950

Photo credit: Woman with flowers, Safavid Dynasty, Iran, Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC


  1. Simply BEAUTIFUL! I can't wait to see more posts like this Azita! :) Good thought! xoxo

  2. Thank you, Azita. Absolutely beautiful. It translates so well, too!

  3. The picture and the poem are beautiful!

  4. Beautiful.
    I'm really looking forward to this series!

  5. Wow! I wish I could read and speak Persian so I could read Rumi, untranslated!

  6. Absolutely the worst translation I have ever read or heard

    1. please do share with us your translation.