Rumi's 13th century Greek verse

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jeidsath
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Rumi's 13th century Greek verse

Post by jeidsath » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:59 pm

Greek Verses of Rumi & Sultan Walad

It appears that Rumi wrote some poetry in Greek (but in an Arabic script). The following (rather amazing) page is from Textkit fellow opoudjis. (See also How are Rumi's poems in Greek?) The manuscripts are in Arabic script, without vowel pointings, making the text sometimes uncertain. I've sampled one.

Image
Πού είσαι συ, αφέντη μου (όμοια ευεργετικέ κι όμοια φεγγαροπρόσωπε)
Να είπω σαρακηνικά (πώς είμαι εγώ και πώς είσαι συ).
(Ω λαέ, ήρθαμε σε σας με την πρόθεση να θυσιαστούμε για την αγάπη σας)
(από τότε που σας είδαμε οι επιθυμίες μας έγιναν φανερές).
(Αν μου δώσεις ένα κρασί, εγώ θα χαρώ κι αν εσύ πάλι με βρίσεις, εγώ πάλι θα χαρώ.)
Αφέντη ό,τι θέλεις συ, θέλω και παρακαλώ.
(αν εμέθυσεν ο δούλος άκου εσύ τώρα λόγια κομματιασμένα.)
Βοήθησ' με κανάκι μου, σήμερα παρακαλώ.
...
Πού είσαι τσελεμπή, πού είσαι, έη πού 'σαι; αγαπώ σε.
(Όντας χωρίς υπόληψη, χωρίς υπερηφάνεια, την πνοή τώρα της καρδιάς μου αναζήτα.)
Where are you, my Master (in the same way beneficial and moon-faced)
Let me say in Saracen (what I am like and what you are like)
(O people, we came to you meaning to be sacrificed for your love)
(Since we have seen you our desires have become apparent)
(If you give me a cup of wine, I will rejoice, and if you curse at me, I will still rejoice.)
Master, whatever you want, I want and beg for.
(If your servant is drunk, now hear broken words)
Help me my lovely, today I beg you.
[2 Persian verses omitted]
Where are you, sir, where are you, hey where are you? I love you.
(Being of no repute, with no pride, now seek the breath of my heart.)
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Rumi's 13th century Greek verse

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:59 pm

A few of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana texts give Latin transliterated into Greek letters, which is only slightly less disturbing than this fascinating find... Of course the Hermeneumata do so in order to aid people in learning Latin. Is there any suggestion for the motivation for doing this in Arabic? Could it be to help Arabic speakers learn a bit of Greek, better to know what those pesky Ῥωμαῖοι in Constantinople were actually saying? Or perhaps a literary exercise?
Last edited by Barry Hofstetter on Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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jeidsath
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Re: Rumi's 13th century Greek verse

Post by jeidsath » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:40 pm

Maybe he had only learned Greek as a spoken language. So he transliterates into his native script, as bilingual people do today.

Besides, he's a poet and concerned with the sound of speech. Here is T.S. Elliot in The Wasteland:
Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis
vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:
Sibylla ti theleis; respondebat illa: apothanein thelo.
Or Robinson Jeffers:
What's the best life for a man?
--Never to have been born, sings the choros, and the next best
Is to die young. I saw the Sybil at Cumae
Hung in her cage over the public street--
What do you want, Sybil? I want to die.
Apothanein Thelo. Apothanein Thelo. Apothanein Thelo . . .
You have got your wish. But I meant life, not death.
(Also notice "choros")

I suppose that it's also possible that later scribes transliterated an original Greek text to Arabic. Though if a scribe knew them, I think that he might have kept it in Greek characters.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Re: Rumi's 13th century Greek verse

Post by Hylander » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:32 pm

Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: σίβυλλα, τί θέλεις; respondebat illa: ἀποθανεῖν θέλω.
This is a famous quote from Petronius (c. 48). It's not poetry and I've never seen it with the Greek transliterated to Latin characters before, even in editions of Eliot.

I saw with my own eyes the Sibyl at Cumae hanging in a jar, and when those boys would say to her "Sibyl, what do you want?" she would answer "I want to die."
Last edited by Hylander on Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rumi's 13th century Greek verse

Post by jeidsath » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:05 pm

Yes, you're right. Archive.org shows it in Greek characters in the first edition of Elliot, and it's only digital versions that have a transliteration. I have the collected works of Jeffers though, which has his in the English characters.

Ezra Pound, who often switches to Greek, seems always to use Greek characters in his poems.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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