Talking Dirty to Yahweh

by Nathan Hamm on 4/4/2004

Sudeep of Crescat Sententia noticed that religious poetry might be fertile ground for pick up lines. Dylan at Slithery D mentions the excellent South Park episode where Cartman figures out how to make normal pop into top-notch Christian rock.

This isn’t a strictly Christian phenomenon by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t know about other religions, but Islam is well represented in this department by Tajikistan’s own Rumi (I should just throw in this little barb that would make my Uzbek students proud–a large number of the biggest heavyweights in Islamic art and science came from the land between the Amu Daryo and Syr Daryo). Just read anything from this page of poems. I gave a copy of Essential Rumi to a friend once, and she wondered if it wasn’t homosexual love poetry.

The cool thing about Rumi is that because he never explicitly mentions God, you don’t even have to change anything:

Oh Beloved,
take me.
Liberate my soul.
Fill me with your love and
release me from the two worlds.
If I set my heart on anything but you
let fire burn me from inside.

Oh Beloved,
take away what I want.
Take away what I do.
Take away what I need.
Take away everything
that takes me from you.

There some good material on there. Lots of stuff that would make a decent pop song. Heck, this one could even be country:

rocking and rolling
what have you been drinking
please let me know

you must be drunk
going house to house
wandering from street to street

who have you been with
who have you kissed
who’s face have you been fondling

Not that you’d really ever expect to hear Hank Williams sing about fondling faces, but change it up a little and you’ve got the beginnings of a classic.

Anyway, for those that are unfamiliar with Rumi or Sufism in general, these poems are worth a read (as is WoC’s regular Sufi features).


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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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