by Mevlana Rumi
translated by Anthony A. Lee and Nesreen Akhtarkhavari
Your face is the moon. Your heart’s made of stone.
And yet, your soul’s the source of all that’s known.
Your beauty is the light my eyes were shown.
By those steeds! By the sparks their hooves have thrown!
My Friend! Save you, they’re all just dust and foam.
You left. I tremble for your love. I moan.
My soul’s a sacrifice at your command.
Every king but you is a charlatan.
Bio: Anthony A. Lee, Ph.D., teaches African American history at UCLA and at West Los Angeles College. He has collaborated on a number of books of poetry in translation. The most recent, with Nesreen Akhtarkhavari is Love Is My Savior: The Arabic Poems of Rumi (Michigan State University Press, 2016).
Bio: Born in Irbid, Jordan, Nasreen Akhtarkhavari is Associate Professor the Director of the Arabic Program at DePaul College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences in Chicago. She has produced numerous translations from the Arabic, including a prize winning translation of Rumi’s Arabic poems entitled Love is My Savior, with Anthony A. Lee.