- How long will you keep on crying,
- “Where’s my remedy?
- Where’s my cure?”
- Whoever it is that’s making you search for a remedy,
- go look for him.
- How long will you stay mired in sadness, complaining,
- “Sorrow has taken my soul away”?
- What is the soul?
- Why don’t you try to find it?
- Did you smell a loaf of bread?
- Go toward that smell.
- That smell will tell you everything
- you need to know about bread.
- If you fall in love,
- your love is your proof
- and that’s enough.
- If you’re not in love,
- what good is proof?
—Translated by Nevit O. Ergin and Will Johnson
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi was a 13th-century Islamic mystic who was born in Persia but spent much of his life in what is now Konya, Turkey. He was a student of a younger but equally enigmatic spiritual teacher, the wandering Dervish Shams of Tabriz, and it was under the influence of Shams that Rumi became an ecstatic Sufi teacher and poet, arguably the most popular and widely read poet in the United States. The spontaneous utterances that are Rumi’s poems are almost all addressed to his beloved Shams, whom he sees as God’s representative. In the Islamic world, Rumi is revered by many as the founder of the Mevlevi Order of whirling dervishes. “Love Is Its Own Proof” is taken from The Forbidden Rumi, translated by Nevit O. Ergin and Will Johnson, and published by Inner Traditions, InnerTraditions.com. The poem is reprinted by permission.