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Translation +
SHJ Issue 9
Spring 2014

I’ve Come Again
[Ode 1390 from “The Book of Shams”]

Jalal al-din Rumi

Translated from Farsi by Dr. Ali Arsanjani

I’m back again! I’ve come to you from the Beloved!
I’ve come again! 

I’m here to share your sorrows 
Look at me! Look deep inside!

Here I am completely freed!
I come filled with joy, filled with joy!  

It took thousands of years for me to break this silence

I will ascend! I was up so far! 
I’ll go there again! I will ascend once again!

I came back oh, so reluctantly!
Release me once again! Release me!

Although I walk among you now
I was once a heavenly bird!

I didn’t see it and fell right into the trap!

I’m not just a fleeting handful of earth 
Brother, I am pure clean light.

I came as a king arrives 
But you see me as a pearl inside an oyster

Don’t look at me with mere eyes 
See me as I am with your secret eye

I arrive with the lightest of loads
Come see me there 

I am superior to the four elements and even 
        the seven heavens 

I’ve come here only for a visit for 
Over there I was an un manifest gem

My friend is here with us in the market
He comes to us nimble he comes aware

If not to pay him my dues
Why would I ever come here?

My master Shams, when are you going
To grace the world with your gaze?

My heart and soul are tired of wandering 
        in the wastelands of oblivion.
بازآمدم بازآمدم از پیش آن یار آمدم
در من نگر در من نگر بهر تو غمخوار آمدم

شاد آمدم شاد آمدم از جمله آزاد آمدم
چندین هزاران سال شد تا من به گفتار آمدم

آن جا روم آن جا روم بالا بدم بالا روم

بازم رهان بازم رهان کاین جا به زنهار آمدم

من مرغ لاهوتی بدم دیدی که ناسوتی شدم

دامش ندیدم ناگهان در وی گرفتار آمدم

من نور پاکم ای پسر نه مشت خاکم مختصر

آخر صدف من نیستم من در شهوار آمدم

ما را به چشم سر مبین ما را به چشم سر ببین

آن جا بیا ما را ببین کان جا سبکبار آمدم

از چار مادر برترم وز هفت آبا نیز هم

من گوهر کانی بدم کاین جا به دیدار آمدم

یارم به بازار آمده‌ست چالاک و هشیار آمده‌ست

ور نه به بازارم چه کار وی را طلبکار آمدم

ای شمس تبریزی نظر در کل عالم کی کنی

کاندر بیابان فنا جان و دل افگار آمدم

—A version of this translation also appears online at Rumi Blog (27 March 2014)


Commentary by Dr. Ali Arsanjani

This poem is a translation of Rumi’s ode 1390 from the “Book of Shams,” his books of odes (Ghazal). I have called it, “I’ve Come Again,” which refers to its opening lines.

Jalal al-din Rumi is claimed to be the most widely read poet in North America. Ironically, he was a 13th-century Persian Sufi Sage, a Professor, Philosopher, and Poet who captured the rapture of love in spontaneous poetry that his close students and disciples wrote down as he recited them.

Around 1244, he started to compose an immense collection, or divan, of 40,000 lines of lyrical verse, which he was to continue for the next 30 years. This “Book of Shams,” in the ode or “ghazal” form, was dedicated to his spiritual master and friend, Shams of Tabriz, who sparked a spiritual transformation in an otherwise quiet, erudite scholar, a metamorphosis which made him a passionate lover of God. Shams introduced him to the practice of “sama,” a form of rhythmic meditative movement catalyzed through music and singing of mystical poetry.

In the 1260s, he started his textbook on all aspects of life and the spiritual quest, the famous Masnavi-e Maanavi, or “Couplets of Inner Meaning.” He did so at the encouragement of his disciple, Hessam Chalabi, intermittently dictating this monumental work to Hessam over the next twelve or so years. He opens it with the story of the cry of the reed flute, crying out the searing pain of its separation from its spiritual source, the reedbed, and seeking reunion. The 25,000 verses that follow present a succession of tales, parables, anecdotes, vignettes, and narratives which Rumi uses to elaborate his mystical thought through practical everyday examples, often taking off on a side bar to elaborate a concept before he goes on to use it.

Rumi believed that a spiritual guide or teacher should provide sustenance for both common and elite readers, nourishment to suit the taste and constitution of every potential pupil. The magnificent rhyme and rhythm were seldom thought out and edited, but rather were flowing from deep within his enlightened state of consciousness. The universal messages of love, peace, and passion for truth and ultimately the Divine are agnostic to any culture, geography, and epoch and find their place at the warm heart of humankind throughout the centuries in all walks of life.



SHJ Issue 9
Spring 2014

Jalal al-din Rumi (1207–1273),

known simply as Rumi in the West, was a 13th-century Persian poet, scholar, theologian, judge, and Sufi mystic. He has been described as “the most popular poet in America” (Charles Haviland, “The roar of Rumi—800 years on,” BBC News).

Additional biographical details from The Academy of American Poets



SHJ Issue 9
Spring 2014

Dr. Ali Arsanjani

is a scholar of mystical poetry, specifically focusing on translating and providing commentary and courses on Rumi’s poetry and worldview for academic and social contexts. He is completing his second book on Rumi entitled Rumi’s Guide for Lovers and Spiritual Seekers. A sample of his translations can be found at

He is a Distinguished Engineer and Chief Technology Officer for Business Process Management for IBM.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury