A World Inside This World – Rumi


There is another world inside this one –
no words can describe it.
There is living, but no fear of death;
There is Spring, but never a turn to Autumn.
There are legends and stories
coming from the walls and ceilings.
Even the rocks and trees recite poetry.

Here an owl becomes a peacock,
A world becomes a beautiful shepherd.
To change the scenery, change your mood;
To move around, just will it.
Stand for a moment
And look at a desert of thorns –
it becomes a flowery garden.
See that boulder on the ground?
It moves, and a mine of rubies appears.
Wash you hands and face
in the waters of this place –
The cooks have prepared a great feast!

Here all beings give birth to angels.
When they see me ascending to the heavens
every corpse springs back to life.

I have seen many kinds of trees
growing from the Earth,
But who has ever seen the birth of paradise?

I have seen water, but who has ever seen
one drop of water
give birth to a hundred warriors?
Who could ever imagine such a place?

Such a heaven? Such a Garden of Eden?
Whoever reads this poem – translate it.
Tell the whole world about this place!

— Ghazal (Ode) 3401
Version by Jonathan Star from a translation by Shahram Shiva
“A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi”
Bantam Books, 1992