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Please help me to find where Rumi says that:

Dancing is not getting up painlessly like a speck of dust blown around in the wind. Dancing is when you rise above both worlds, tearing your heart to pieces, and giving up your soul

It should be from Masnavi. I'd like to know the volume and verse number.

I'm a literary translator and working on translation of a book from English where they've written this quotation. But the source indicated is incorrect (Rumi, Jallaludin. The Mathnavi. Tr. R.A. Nicholson. 6 vols - I checked it). We've got a Masnavi translation (I don't know Persian) in my language, I've looked it through several times.

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    Hi and welcome to Literature Stack Exchange. What is the book from which you have taken this quote?
    – verbose
    Feb 9 at 23:20
  • So in a case like this, do you translate the English faithfully, and say it’s from the Mathnavi, or do you correct the original English, and say it’s from the Divan-i Shams-i Tabrizi?
    – Peter Shor
    Feb 11 at 0:45
  • I can't correct the English version because the text isn't mine. By chance we've found the published translation of this verse in my language (Russian) and I'll quote it and write it's from the Divan
    – Evgeniya
    Feb 11 at 11:42

1 Answer 1

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I don't know any Persian, but this web page has the Persian text:

و اما شعر مولاناي عظيم الشان
رقص ان نبود كه هر زمان برخيزي بي درد چو گرد از ميان برخيزي
رقص ان باشد كز دو جهان برخيزي دل پاره كني وز سر جان برخيزي
ديوان شمس تبريزي

along with the English text

dancing is not getting up anytime painlessly ,like a speck of dust blown around in the wind...dancing is when you rise above both worlds , tearing your heart to pieces and giving your soul.

Google Translate renders the Persian as:

And as for the poetry of Molani Azim al-Shan
Dance was not about getting up and running without any pain.
Let it be a dance where you cross two worlds, break hearts and make heads turn.
Diwan Shams Tabrizi

Here, Molani is another name for Rumi, and Azim al-Shan appears to be Urdu for something like "Prince".

And Bing Microsoft translater gives:

And as for the poetry of the great mullahs.
The dance wasn't to rise every time you stood up a painless chowder.
Dance is the dance of two worlds, rise and tear the heart and rise up John's head.
Divan Shams Tabrizi

I think that given the similarity of the two translations to the presumed Rumi quote, this must be the correct original poem. So it seems it wasn't from the Masnavi but from the Divan-i Shams-i Tabrizi, a different collection of Rumi poems.

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  • I think you're right. It's very similar. Thanks so much for your help!
    – Evgeniya
    Feb 11 at 11:36
  • Gosh, I'd never trust those with literary translations.
    – Lambie
    Feb 11 at 15:12

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