I DIDN’T COME HERE OF MY OWN ACCORD

All day I think about it, then at night I say it.

Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?

I have no idea.

My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,

and I intend to end up there.

 

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.

When I get back around to that place,

I’ll be completely sober.  Meanwhile,

I’m like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.

The day is coming when I fly off,

but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?

Who says words with my mouth?

 

Who looks out with my eyes?  What is the soul?

I cannot stop asking.

If I could taste one sip of an answer,

I could break out of this prison for drunks.

I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.

Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

 

This poetry.  I never know what I’m going to say.

I don’t plan it.

When I’m outside the saying of it,

I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.

Rumi

(Coleman Barks translation)

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