Jalaluddin Rumi imparted poetic beauty to mystical love. The verses of the 13th century Sufi poet can now be read in Malayalam through ‘Pakshiyude Pattu’, a translation by Iris Koileo, head of the Department of Malayalam and Mass Communication at St Xavier’s College, Thumba.
She has translated ‘Bird Song’, the translated work of Rumi’s poems in English by Coleman Barks. “Initially, I had written the lines in free verse style. Then, a friend of mine came to read that and asked whether it would not be better to write the verses in a rhythmic pattern and so later I changed it into that form. At some point, I have taken the freedom to make changes to suit the peculiarities of the Malayalam language,” she said.
Iris, who loves to travel to break free from loneliness, had bought the book ‘Bird Song’ during her visit to Varanasi in 2010.
On visiting various spots there, she chanced upon a bookshop and got fascinated by the Rumi quatrains. An avid reader with an experience of conducting translation classes for 30 years, she has been so moved by many translated works.
Of course, there was nothing holding her back from embarking on translating Rumi’s work. Over the past two years, she has been focusing her attention on translating the 102 ‘rubaies’ - the name for quatrains in Persian language.
Before bringing out the book, she had published a part of the verses in a magazine ‘Jeevanum Velichavum.’ The book is the first-of-its kind work by the author.
‘Pakshiyude Pattu’ will be released by Chief Secretary K Jayakumar, who has written the foreword, at Press Club on Friday. It is published by Media House publishers, Kozhikode.