Friday, April 23, 2010

Last Night I Dreamt You... - Khusrau (Amir Dehlavi)

Amir Dehlavi (1253-1325) was the first important Indo-Persian poet and used the pen name "Khusrau".  Musician, poet, and scholar, he was a Sufi mystic who wrote in both Persian and Hindawi, serving as a court poet for several rulers of the Delhi Sultanate.  Khusrau's output was large and popular, particularly in northern India.  Even to this day his poetry is sung in Sufi shrines.  I always find it marvelous when a translator's output is as lyrical as the original.  It's just soooooo hard to do!  This one accomplishes that AND conveys the intended emotions.  It's so flowing and sensual, both in imagery and in its rhythm.  It joins the legions I wish I had written myself....

Last night I dreamt you brought me wine
and poured and poured until my dreams were full,
each one watered till the tendrils grew.

And then I heard you pouring more again for two
and thought I saw my tears reflecting you....
I wasn't sure, until I woke to find
my body bathed in wine and wrapped in vines
or was it you?

I never knew who turned my night to day
before the dawn had time for dew.
                                                                         Khusrau (Amir Dehlavi) - Indo-Persian

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