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This is in a long line of poetry that straddles the line between religious and erotic poetry. Among the best known in this category are those by the 13th century Persian Sufi mystic Rumi, who composed over 40,000 lyric verses.Here is one of them, as translated by Coleman Barks.What Was Told, ThatWhat was said to the rose that made it open was saidto me here in my chest. What was told the cypress that made it strongand straight, what waswhispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever madesugarcane sweet, whateverwas said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil inTurkestan that makes themso handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blushlike a human face, that isbeing said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence inlanguage, that’s happening here.The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,chewing a piece of sugarcane,
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