Camaron, Me, and ‘Attar

El Padre Santo de Roma



Lailolailolailo, Leilo …

Holy Father in Rome,
I have to ask
if the sins that I have
if the sins I have,
if the sins I have,
can they be forgiven?

I’m like a sad bird
that goes from branch to branch,
singing its suffering,
singing its suffering,
because it doesn’t know how to cry.

Oh how beautiful are the flowers,
the cheerful spring
with its divine colors.
You are the sea,
I am the sand,
I’ll go with you,
wherever you want.

Europe’s Chapel,
Europe’s Chapel,
overlooking the bay
so pretty and beautiful,
so pretty and beautiful,
the fields of Andalusia.

You are the sea,
I am the sand,
I’ll go with you,
wherever you want.


Lailolailolailo, leilo…

Al Padre Santo de Roma,
le tengo que preguntar
si los pecados que tengo
si los pecados que tengo,
si los pecados que tengo,
me los puede perdonar.

Soy cómo el pájaro triste,
ay que de rama en rama va,
cantando su sufrimiento,
cantando su sufrimiento,
porque no sabe llorar.

{Olé, Paco}

Ay qué bonitas están las flores,
de la alegre primavera
con sus divinos colores.
Tú eres la mar,
yo soy la arena,
yo voy contigo,
dónde tú quieras.

De la Capilla de Europa,
de la Capilla de Europa,
se divisa la bahía
más bonita y más hermosa,
ay más bonita y más hermosa,
de la vega Andalucía.

Tú eres la mar,
yo soy la arena,
yo voy contigo,
dónde tú quieras.



You forged these chains and set me free
I’m your dream, you’re my memory
Don’t forget me, I beg you please
My darkness, light, health and disease

My love is yours, so yours is mine
So lift my ore out of this mine
Don’t leave me shrouded in my mind
Love flows behind the clouds of time

Only my death will end our war
My perfections stain your faults
My waves will crash upon your shore
Until your rocks become my salt


دلم دردى كه دارد با كه گويد


To whom can my heart speak of its pain
     To whom can I repent, for I’ve sinned again?
Alas!  Isn’t there a sympathetic freind
   who would welcome my bad luck?
When you spoke to me of abandonment
   you were a dying person describing death
Why should one wash their hands of you when
   they’re not full at the table of your union?
My heart sees your face through a hundred walls;
   it breathes your scent from a hundred leagues
I won’t forget the rose of your union
   otherwise the thorns will grow upon my grave
Today the grief of ‘Attar’s heart
   speaks or is silent by your decree



دلم دردی که دارد با که گوید            گنه خود کرد تاوان از که جوید
دریغا نیست همدردی موافق        که بر بخت بدم خوش خوش بموید
مرا گفتی که ترک ما بگفتی               به ترک زندگانی کس بگوید
کسی کز خوان وصلت سیر نبود            چرا باید که دست از تو بشوید
ز صد بارو دلم روی تو بیند             ز صد فرسنگ بوی تو ببوید
گل وصلت فراموشم نگردد             وگر خار از سر گورم بروید
غم درد دل عطار امروز               چه فرمایی بگوید یا نگوید


Along the path…

The love of her beauty is a sea of fire.
      If you’re a lover you’ll burn; such is the path.
Where a bright candle’s flame suddenly heaves
      won’t the moth burn?  Its burning is certain.
If you want love’s secret, leave faith and disbelief.
     What room is there for them in Love’s entrance?
The lover who comes to the path’s first stage
     falls in frailty like a shadow upon the ground.
After a while nothing remains of the shadow
   because the sun lies in wait in a distant place
Many thousands of travellers made pretence of Love
   Mansur is like the gemstone on the seal of the path.
Anyone who claims the pearl of truth from this sea
   is forever cherised in the courts of both worlds
The task of this path is extremely arduous;
   one person each millenium sees the path through
How will you know the people of the path? for they
   first walk on this path, then on the seventh heaven
Along the path, ‘Attar came upon a place
   higher than body and soul, outside of kindness and hate.


modified from K. Avery and A. Alizadeh.  Fifty Poems of ‘Attar.  Anomaly, 2007


    عشق جمال جانان دریای آتشین است
گر عاشقی بسوزی زیرا که راه این است
   جایی که شمع رخشان ناگاه بر فروزند
پروانه چون نسوزد کش سوختن یقین است
   گر سر عشق خواهی از کفر و دین گذر کن
کانجا که عشق آمد چه جای کفر و دین است
   عاشق که در ره آید اندر مقام اول
چون سایه‌ای به خواری افتاده در زمین است
   چون مدتی برآید سایه نماند اصلا
کز دور جایگاهی خورشید در کمین است
   چندین هزار رهرو دعوی عشق کردند
برخاتم طریقت منصور چون نگین است
   هرکس که در معنی زین بحر بازیابد
در ملک هر دو عالم جاوید نازنین است
   کاری قوی است عالی کاندر ره طریقت
بر هر هزار سالی یک مرد راه‌بین است
    تو مرد ره چه دانی زیرا که مرد ره را
اول قدم درین ره بر چرخ هفتمین است
    عطار اندرین ره جایی فتاد کانجا
برتر ز جسم و جان است بیرون ز مهر و کین است



Translation of lyrics:

Walking, walking, walking alone
I found my gypsy bathing in the river


She can not live without me,
I can not live without her,
I am the sun that shines,
she is for me the star,
that illuminates my dream!


Walking, walking, walking alone
I found my gypsy bathing in the river


She is my joy
When your hair caresses my face,
Between my kisses I get lost gazing in
Your black eyes and I’m going crazy


Caminando,caminando,caminando voy solito
a buscar a mi gitana que lavando esta en el rio!
No puede vivir sin mi,
no puedo vivir sin ella,
yo soy el sol q le alumbra,
ella es para mi la estrella,
la que alumbra mi sueño!


Caminando,caminando,caminando voy solito
a buscar a mi gitana que lavando esta en el rio!
Ella es mi alegria
cuando su pelo acaricia mi cara
y entre mis besos yo me pierdo mirando
sus ojos negros y yo me vuelvo loco



‘Attar – The Three Butterflies

Were all really three butterflies
In the world of love, we are a legend
The first came near the candle and said
“I have found the meaning of love”
The second fluttered its wing near the flame and said,
“I’ve been burned by the fire of love”
The third threw himself into the fire
Yes, yes, this is the meaning of love…



جملگی در حکم سه پروانه ایم
در جهان عاشقان افسانه ایم
اولی‌ خود را به شمع نزدیک کرد
گفت هان من یافتم معنای عشق
دومی‌ نزدیک شعله بال زد
گفت هان من سوختم در سوز عشق
سومی‌ خود داخل آتش فکند
 آری آری این بود معنای عشق



‘Attar and Carminho

The Soul’s Dilemma

Once again, each day,

I travel the path of your love

Every night without fail

I mourn your absence anew.

My soul lacks the courage

to love one

such as you-

and my heart lacks the strength

to abandon you too


From Love’s Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition.  New World Library, 2006.

I wrote your name on the wind…

Translation of lyrics:

I wrote your name in the wind

Convinced that I was writing it

Upon the page of oblivion

That was lost in the wind (x 2)

And when I  saw it still buried

In the dust of the road

I thought my heart was free

From the bonds of your affection (x 2)

Poor me, I had no idea

That just like me

The wind would fall in love

With that name of yours

And as the wind tosses and turns

so does my torment

I want to forget you, believe me

But there is more and more wind


I whispered your name to the wind

I whispered your name to the wind
It set the trees’ leaves all aflame
They fell, spelling your name in dust
Which then lept up to dance and sing
And when the dust fell down dead tired
The earth’s heart split in longing pain
And when the sky asked earth what’s wrong?
The ground could only groan your name
And then the clouds welled up with tears
The lovesick sky began to rain
Then sun scattered the clouds but when
He saw what the sky’s tears contained
He flushed with love, fainted away
And only the dark night remained
 The moon woke up and asked the stars
About the sunlight’s dying flame
They winked and all whispered your name
The moon blushed black, and closed his eyes
His image in the ocean sighed
The sea’s smooth surface heaved and writhed
As whales wept with the mourning tide
And then the Moon’s heart broke in two
One piece is me, one piece is you
 And I swear by your name it’s true
I’ve seen just what your name can do