The Republic of Rumi: A Novel of Reality
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The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality

Chapter 57

Unlocking the Mystery


By Khurram Ali Shafique

Instead of a prayer as was inscribed inside the door of the other chamber, here you see a poem addressing you.

Both worlds may be seen in the wine-pitcher I have:
Where is the eye to view the sights I see?

Here comes another man, possessed, who shouts in the city:
Two hundred commotions arise from the obsession I have.

Do not worry, ignorant one, at the approaching darkness of the nights,
For the scar of my forehead sparkles like stars.

You take me as your companion
But I am afraid that you are not up to the tumult and uproar I have raised.

In the previous chamber, seven couplets of the prayer turned out to be a hint for dividing the poems into seven sets. The prefatory poem here has four couplets but the chamber contains 75 poems, which cannot be divided by four. Could there be a catch?

“Two worlds” usually mean the seen and the unseen. If “both worlds may be seen” in this poem, it obviously contains the unseen as well as the seen. The fifth couplet is invisible, perhaps to help you adjust your vision to the unseen: Where is the eye to view the sights I see? Including this “invisible” couplet would increase the number of couplets in the poem to five, which can divide the seventy-five poems into five sets of 15 poems each.

DISCUSS

  • The first chamber depicted the transformation of your “self” in its journey through the Garden. What could be the purpose of the present chamber?


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Five sets of poems show that the Garden is divided into five zones. The reader is now in the second but can foresee the next three as well.
Persian text