Oct 29, 2006

A Robbins vs Rumi Smackdown!

Speaking of Rumi/Robbins comparisons... I always think of Robbins as a poet without the line breaks. So perhaps it would be fun to compare some Rumi poetry that I love with some Robbins 'poetry'. Of course there are no winners or losers. As the taoist says, it's all good. I should clarify when I say Rumi I mean Rumi-as-interpreted-by-Coleman Barks. I don't think I've ever seen a really good Rumi poem done by anyone else. Plus Rumi's Islamic religiosity is wisely understated in Barks work. Jonathin Curiel wrote, 'For example, Barks says he rewrote a Rumi line that originally read in English, "out beyond what is holy in Islam and what is not permitted in Islam" to "out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing." ' That's much more universal to me. We don't have to remove any unseemly religious dogma from Tom's work.

Some Rumi:

In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.

Some Robbins:
Ziller tiptoed into the gloom.
He scooped Amanda's face up in his vision
weeding out the paleness, the thinness,
the plastic vines runing out of her veins and nose,
the arms that lay askew like broken wings.
He was afraid to burden her with a kiss.
The magic words he had to say for her he barely whispered.

Anybody else want to take some good poetry and let it snuggle up to some Robbins prose. Line breaks are optional. Either leave a comment or email me and I'll host a post under your name or nom de net.