Two Ghazals

by  Rumi
translated by Brad Gooch & Maryam Mortaz
The pink moon rises over a wetland and forest at dusk.
Photo by C.P. Ewing / Flickr


"The sky has never seen such a moon”


The sky has never seen such a moon, not even in its dreams,
No water could ever extinguish the fire of its light,

Look at my body, and look at my soul
From his cup of love, my soul is drunk, my body ruined

The tavern keeper became my heart’s companion
Love turned my blood into wine, and burned my heart

As my eyes fill with the image of his face, a voice resounds,
“Well done, cup. Excellent, wine.”

Looking into the ocean of love
My heart suddenly dove in, calling, “Find me!”

The face of the sun is Shams, the glory of Tabriz,
Our hearts, like clouds, trail after him.


“If there’s no trace of love”


If there’s no trace of love in his heart
Cover him like an angry cloud over the moon

Dry tree, don’t grow in that garden,
Poor thing, left without the shade of a tree

Even if you’re a pearl, don’t separate from this love,
Love is your father and your family

In the world of lovers, a deadly sickness strikes
Each day more painful than the last

If you see the blush of love in someone’s face
Know that he is no longer merely mortal

If you see a reed-flute, bent by love, grab it
Squeeze the reed until you taste the sweetest sugar

Shams of Tabriz lures you into his trap
Don’t look left or right, you can’t resist.

Translations from the Persian
By Brad Gooch & Maryam Mortaz

Brad Gooch is a poet, novelist, and biographer whose most recent book is Rumi’s Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love. His previous books include the memoir Smash Cut and the biographies Flannery and City Poet. He is the recipient of Guggenheim and NEH fellowships and lives in New York City.

Maryam Mortaz is an Iranian American writer and translator. Her work has been published in such journals as Bomb, New Review of Literature, and Callaloo. She is a trained psychotherapist in New York City.