Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Notes on Sanai, Attar, and Rumi

looked for a translation of manṭiq-uṭ-tayr (conference of birds) by attar of nishapur. dick davis has a rhymed version. sholeh wolpe has the newest contemporary version. but then i discovered c.s. nott, gurdjieffian who did one in the 50s. had to go with that one obvs.

rumi is said to have said that "attar has roamed through the seven cities of love while we have barely turned down the first street"

rumi also said "attar is the soul and sanai its two eyes, i came after sanai and attar." as to sanai, his hadiqat al haqiqa forms a triumverate of masnavi/mathnawa (spiritual couplets) with attar and rumi

basically there's one english translation of hadiqat al haqiqa done by stephenson long ago but recently modernized by kieron moore which looks promising.

as to rumi's masnavi, there's the old prose version of stephenson and the newer rhymed version by jawid mojaddedi. will probably get both, but that's a six volume project (each) for some other day.

this has been a presentation of talking translations. had to work that out in tweets for myself. i've been researching various sufi works and their translations and needed to clarify some things about sanai, attar and rumi. and that's that.

note Mathnawi (Arabic) or masnavi (Persian) is a kind of poem written in rhyming couplets, or more specifically "a poem based on independent, internally rhyming lines". Most mathnawī poems follow a meter of eleven, or occasionally ten, syllables, but had no limit in their length.

note from this quick research, i consider these masnavis to be the sufi equivalent of sutra or tantra, and sanai, attar, and rumi to be their highest practioners.

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