Here is my interpretation of Rumi’s poem ‘The Lame Goat’.
You’ve seen a herd of goats
going down to the water.
The lame and dreamy goat
brings up the rear.
Here Rumi compares humans in society to a herd of goats. He says in society the dreamers, philosophers, poets and other creatively inclined people are considered as lame. These folks do not climb the social ladder much and are often at the bottom of the society.
There are worried faces about that one,
but now they’re laughing,
because look, as they return,
that goat is leading!
Family, friends and well wishers often worry about such creative people, wondering what are they going to amount to? Sometimes though, someone who is creative will turn the tables and become very successful in their field. They may lead the others in the society towards happiness and bliss through their art or just their demeanor.
There are many different kinds of knowing.
The lame goat’s kind is a branch
that traces back to the roots of presence.
We all know and believe different things. Ambitious people know goals. While the dreamers know what lies beyond. They are more in touch with their soul, Universe or the true self.
Learn from the lame goat,
and lead the herd home.
Rumi urges creative people to learn from the lame goat and be who you are and be indifferent to what society thinks of you. Because it is these dreamers who have the power to bring about a revolution and lead the others to their ultimate home, i.e., to their source, soul, universe, consciousness.
Taken from The Essential Rumi
translated by Coleman Barks