Lesson 67: Rumi’s Rooz o Shab, Part 3


GREETINGS:

salām
hello
سَلام
chetor-ee
how are you?
چِطوری؟

Note: In Persian, as in many other languages, there is a formal and an informal way of speaking. We will be covering this in more detail in later lessons. For now, however, chetor-ee is the informal way of asking someone how they are, so it should only be used with people that you are familiar with. hālé shomā chetor-é is the formal expression for ‘how are you.’

Spelling note: In written Persian, words are not capitalized. For this reason, we do not capitalize Persian words written in phonetic English in the guides.


ANSWERS:

khoobam
I’m well
خوبَم

Pronunciation tip: kh is one of two unique sounds in the Persian language that is not used in the English language. It should be repeated daily until mastered, as it is essential to successfully speak Persian. Listen to the podcast for more information on how to make the sound.

Persian English
salām hello
chetor-ee how are you?
khoobam I’m well
merci thank you
khayli very
khayli khoobam I’m very well
khoob neestam I’m not well
man me/I
bad neestam I’m not bad
ālee great
chetor-een? how are you? (formal)
hālé shomā chetor-é? how are you? (formal)
hālet chetor-é? how are you? (informal)
khoob-ee? are you well? (informal)
mamnoonam thank you
chetor peesh meeré? how’s it going?
ché khabar? what’s the news? (what’s up?)
testeeeee

Hello and welcome to lesson 67! This is the third part in our series on Rumi’s poem Rooz o Shab. We’re going to start off this lesson by hearing my aunt Farnaz recite the full poem. Hopefully after last week’s lesson, you’ll understand the beginning of it.

 

 

dar havayat bee ghararam rooz o shab

sar ze kooyat bar nadaram rooz o shab

rooz o shab ra hamcho khod majnoon konam

rooz o shab ra kay gozaram rooz o shab

jan o del ra meekhastan az asheghan

jan o del ra meeseparam rooz o shab

 

So this week we are going to focus on the middle two lines. Let’s hear my aunt reading these two lines only.

 

rooz o shab ra hamcho khod majnoon konam

rooz o shab ra kay gozaram rooz o shab

These two lines begin again with the repetition of the words rooz and shab, which by now should be completely understandable to you. What does rooz mean? Day. Rooz

 

(rooz)

 

And what is the meaning of shab. Night. Shab

 

(shab)

 

One thing we didn’t cover last week is that word o in the middle of rooz and shab. O simply means and. o

 

(o)

 

And o is actually a conversational version of the longer word- va, which also means and. Va

 

(va)

 

So in conversation, va often is replaced by o, as it is in the poem. O

 

(o)

 

So rooz o shab

 

(rooz o shab)

 

Could also be rooz va shab. Rooz va shab

 

(rooz va shab)

 

versus rooz o shab

 

(rooz o shab)

 

Which flows a lot better in the context of this poem. Now let’s go over the most important part of this first line, and that is the word majnoon. Majnoon

 

(majnoon)

 

The concept of majnoon is a very important one in Persian culture, and also obviously in Persian poetry. There’s not a great translation of it, but it’s something along the lines of crazy. Crazy doesn’t quite have the gravity that majnoon has, however. A person who is majnoon is a madman, an insane person, a crazy person. The best example of majnoon is in the story Leily and majnoon which is actually where my name comes from. This story was popularized in the 12th century in Iran, in a lyric poem by a Persian poet named  Ganjavy. And basically, the story is that this couple meets when they are very young and fall madly in love. The young man writes love poetry for Leyla to the point where they call him majnoon, or crazy. When they come of age to marry, Leyla’s father marries her off to a rich nobleman, and majnoon is forced to wander the desert for the rest of his life in search of his love. So it’s the story of unfulfillable longing. But this concept of majnoon also has these mystical implications- it’s the concept of losing yourself to love, to the point of madness. And again, as we say, in all these Sufi poems, you can take them to mean earthly love, like this love of majnoon for Leyla, but they can also be taken on the metaphorical level, the love of a person for the creator, whatever that may be. So again, in this poem, we are talking about all these different levels of love, and we are talking about love to the point of madness, majnoon

 

(majnoon)

 

So what does hamcho khod majnoon konam mean. The word khod is the word for self. Khod

 

(khod)

 

That is simple enough. konam is a shortened version of bokonam or the first person conjugation of to do, to make. Bokonam

 

(bokonam)

 

So bokonam basically means I am going to do. Konam is simply a shortened conversational version of this. Konam

 

(konam)

 

So you’ll say this in conversation often, especially when referring to things you intend to do. So meekham hamoom konam, means I want  or I intend to take a bath. Meekham is I want to and hamoom is bath. So meekham hamoom konam

 

(meekham hamoom konam)

 

Or if we’re translating it more word by word it’s actually I want to do a bath, which is how we say take a bath. Meekham hamoom konam

 

(meekham hamoom konam)

 

So then khod majnoon konam directly translates to I am going to make myself crazy. Khod majnoon konam

 

(khod majnoon konam)

 

And now the word hamcho, which is a bit more difficult to translate. Hamcho is a shortened version of hamchenoon, which means something along the lines of such, or thusly. I think actually that’s the best way to say it- thusly! Hamchenoon

 

(hamchenoon)

 

Which in the poem is shortened to hamcho

 

(hamcho)

 

So basically, now the full thing is hamcho khod majnoon konam

 

(hamcho khod majnoon konam)

 

which basically means thusly I am going to make myself crazy, I am going to become a madman. Hamcho khod majnoon konam

 

(hamcho khod majnoon konam)

 

And again, things get lost if you translate them word by word. The meaning of this is more like I am going to lose myself. So I am going to cease to exist because of this love. Hamcho khod majnoon konam

 

And again, in a mystical sense, being majnoon is about the loss of the ego.