translation of the classic ancient Persian poet Hafez, a Sufi master
(14th C, Shiraz, Iran)
The rose breaks fast, and opens. Unresisting, I bear it into me – dark wine.
In this season, where is a rose-cup without petals, a petal lacking sheen?
If your soil is a dust of self-denial, the rosebud heart surely shrivels.
Gardener, irrigate your plot with wine – let every bud swell a little!
See, today, the Sufi – who, yesterday, spoke so solidly on the need
for moderation – out wobbling in the fields, enamoured of the wind.
These smooth-cheeked blooms won’t last the week: to come and go is
their nature. Nectar-drinker, you must hurry, as a bee does, to your rose.
Fellow lover: spring is in departure, and your rosebush yellows, untended.
The Beloved wine, like your garden’s insect music, drains away, unheeded.
Our flock, darkly asleep among the trees, awaited dawn: it came like a cup, up
-side-down, reflecting a Face filling with light, Light dripping at a nick in its lip.
See: the Master is also the Minstrel, plucking sky’s instrument to impossible rain.
That truer Sun for field and garden sings Love’s banquet, again, onto empty tables.
Award-winning UK poet, ecologist and PhD physicist Mario Petrucci has held major poetry residencies at the Imperial War Museum and with BBC Radio 3. Heavy Water: a poem for Chernobyl (Enitharmon, 2004) secured the Daily Telegraph/ Arvon Prize. i tulips (Enitharmon, 2010) exemplifies Petrucci’s distinctive combination of innovation and humanity. http://www.mariopetrucci.com