Poem of the Month: Spring by Rumi

SPRING by Rumi
Translation by Coleman Barks

Again, the violet bows to the lily.
Again, the rose is tearing off her gown!

The green ones have come from the other world,
tipsy like the breeze up to some new foolishness.

Again, near the top of the mountain
the anemone’s sweet features appear.

The hyacinth speaks formally to the jasmine,
“Peace be with you.” “And peace to you, lad!
Come walk with me in this meadow.”

Again, there are sufis everywhere!
The bud is shy, but the wind removes
her veil suddenly, “My friend!”

The Friend is here like water in the stream,
like a lotus on the water.

The narcissus winks at the wisteria,
“Whenever you say.”

And the clove to the willow, “You are the one
I hope for.” The willow replies, “Consider
these chambers of mine yours. Welcome!”

The apple, “Orange, why the frown?”
“So that those who mean harm
will not see my beauty.”

The ringdove comes asking, “Where,
where is the Friend?”

With one note the nightingale
indicates the rose.

Again, the season of Spring has come
and a spring-source rises under everything,
a moon sliding from the shadows.

Many things must be left unsaid, because it’s late,
but whatever conversation we haven’t had
tonight, we’ll have tomorrow.

Commentary by Sonya Kuropatwa:

Our poet dives headlong into the playfulness and exhilaration of Spring and creates for us a neighborhood of relationships between the freshly bloomed sprouts, creatures, elements, and blossoms of the garden. There’s an unbridled quality in his conversational language, much of which invites parallels between the coy, flirtatiousness of these neighbors and the deep connection of spiritual union. In countless pieces of poetry and prose, Rumi often refers to God as the Beloved, the Friend, the Teacher, or the Lover; this poem is a delightful example. The birds, the flowers, even the wind and the trees chatter in search of the Friend who is said to be in close proximity, and the poet sweeps in to remind us the Friend is there, ‘a spring-source rises under everything’, as persistent, steady, and elegantly articulated as this ongoing conversation in search of its Source.