A few days ago Jerry Rothenberg published some of my translations of the work of the 10C Baghdadi poet & mystic Mansur al-Hallaj (who is also central to my recent book of poems, Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj — Chax Press 2013). Below the opening section; the complete post (with a commentary on al-Hallaj & a poem from Meditations) can be found here.
Outside & Subterranean Poems, a Mini-Anthology in Progress (57): Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj (Persian, 10th century A.D.): from The Divan
|The execution of Mansur al-Hallaj, 1602 AD (1011 AH)|
from the section: Dereliction
O my secret’s secret, you have dwindled so much you’re hidden from the thought of the living, and yet a hidden-manifest of you has appeared in all things for all things.
My excuse to you is a profound ignorance, a vast doubt, and total powerlessness. O you, all’s completeness, you are no different than me! But then, what’s my excuse to myself?
when my earth cannot bear the load of my part?
my heart would have to shrink to stretch out on it.
& the faithful heart shoulders what bodies couldn’t carry.
by becoming an eye to gaze at you or, better, an ear.