What Shall I Be? — Rumi
From a notebook page, now in the Bancroft Archive at the University of California at Berkeley, an early Rumi rumination, from the Floating Lotus era, ’68-’69 (?), his poem of spiritual ascension, copied out and embellished with an imaginary portrait manifesting from the text…
What shall I be?
I have again & again grown like grass
I have experienced seven hundred and seventy molds
I died from mineralogy & became vegetable
and from vegetativeness I died & became animal
I died from animality & became man
Then why fear disappearance thru death?
Next time I shall die
Bringing forth wings & feathers like angels
After that soaring higher than angels
What you cannot imagine
I shall be that