by Mevlana Rumi
translated by Shahin Mowzoon
The wise have said that these melodies
Were begot from the movement of the spheres,
It’s the call of the heavens that creation sings,
With all its voices and rhythms and hymns
The faithful say it’s a heavenly cause
That turns to harmony our dissonant cries.
We were all part of Adam when first he
In paradise heard that true melody,
Though we were cast in water and clay
We half-remember the echoes of that day.
Artist Statement: With respect to translation, Dr. Soheil Bushrui used to say you should study the works of others, draw upon them, but still do your own work. It is my belief that every additional translation, each fresh rendering of a work, only adds another perspective. The work of translation is like painting: different artists can paint the same scene, but render it differently, according to their unique angle or view. And while one person will paint the scene in oils, another will paint in watercolors,and a third will create a sculpture. Translation is like that: each individual renders the original according to his or her own understanding of the words and their meaning.
Bio: Shahin Mowzoon has translated the works of T.S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats into Persian and the works of Rumi into English. One of his translations of Rumi was chosen as a finalist for the Evansville University Barnstone Translation Prize. Shahin has also been published in engineering and scientific journals and translated songs for performing artists. He has worked as adjunct faculty and as a data scientist and researcher whose work spans a variety of disciplines.