Will.Whim

A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Onomastical poem

How do all things with names combine?
Words are but nests, the meanings are the birds,
Body the bed through which the spirit-river flows.
The surface of this mental watercourse
Is not without its chaff of good and bad repute:
It flows, but you would say it stagnates;
It moves but you would say it stays;
From place to place were there no motion
Whence these renewed supplies of floating chaff?
That chaff is but an image of the mind,
Assuming every moment a new shape;
Like chaff its likes and dislikes float away;
The husks upon the surface of this watercourse
Come from transmundane garden’s fruits,—
The kernels of those husks in yonder garden seek.
The water from that garden to the river flows;
If you your life’s departure cannot see,
Behold in the waters this floating of the plants.

Rumi, excerpt from “Need or Purpose,” Selections from Rumi (II), translated by Edward Rehatsek.

I’m not a big Rumi fan, but I came across this by happenstance today, and I liked the images. And the word ‘transmundane’ is perfectly other-worldly.

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