Tag Archives: Coleman Barks

Lovers vs Intellectuals


An intellectual is all the time showing off,
Lovers dissolve and become bewildered.

Intellectuals try not to drown,
While the whole purpose of love is drowning.

Intellectuals invent ways to rest,
then lie down in those beds.
Lovers feel ashamed of comforting ideas.

You have seen a glob of oil on water?
That is how a lover is with intellectuals,  there, but alone in a circle of himself.

Some intellectual tries to give sound advice to a lover,
All he hears back is, I love you, I love you.

Love is musk.
Do not deny it when you smell the scent.

Love is a tree.
Lovers, the shade under the long branches.

To the intellectual mind,
A child must grow up and learn to be an adult.

In the station of love,
You see old men getting younger and younger.

Shams chose to live low in the roots for you,
So now, he soars in the air
as your sublimely articulating love.


From The Big Red Book
By Coleman Barks

©2017 Parus




Be ground.

Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are.

You’ve been stony for too many years.
Try something different.



Translations by Coleman Barks