Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Zero Circle by Rumi

Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
to gather us up.

We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we’re lying.
If we say No, we don’t see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.

So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Beside ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.

(Rumi, 13th century Persian poet and mystic)

The 'new eyes' we are given and the connection we experience around poetry are such gifts. Some of my own poetry can be found here - I'd love you to read it.


  1. I have loved this poem ever since I first read it - about 6 or 7 years ago maybe - and return to it often, as it so beautifully, simply and eloquently expresses the nature of the ambiguous and miraculous place available to the human soul when it is most stretched: of surrender to helplessness instead of resistance to it, of trust in the midst of the uncertainty, craziness and struggle that are an inherent part of our experience. I hope some of you love it too!

    1. This is so lovely. Can you help me know who' did the translation? My email: Thanks!

    2. Hi! According to the following link and the book it mentions, this translation is by Coleman Barks.
      Best, Rachael

  2. Yes! yes, and unfortunately yes. It is also the circle of within and without. Of the passage between and the struggle as we are lost to those who will not cross in or out.
    Much to resonate with here.
    Love to you. Leslie

    1. Yes, true. And maybe sometimes these considerations are part of what can hold us back from 'totally surrendering'? I know this has been true for me. I've been thinking a lot about you recently, my friend, so very much love back to you. XR

  3. dear all, thanx for this poem, as it inspires me for my musical project called Zerocircle, if you want to listen :

    1. Wonderful! All the best with your music! Rachael