Yunus Emre and the Dervish Path


yunus2Yunus Emre was a great Sufi poet living in Anatolia in the fourteenth century at the same time as Jalaluddin Rumi. While Rumi wrote his glorious Mathnawi in Persian, Yunus Emre sang his poems in the Turkish vernacular of Anatolia. The following poem is about starting on the Sufi path. I love the humble humour with which Yunus speaks of himself.

Whoever is given the dervish path

May his posturing cease and may he shine.

May his breath become musk and amber.

May whole cities and homelands

gather fruit from his branches.

May his leaves be healing herbs for the sick.

May much good work be done in his shadow.

And among all the poets and nightingales

in the Friends garden,

may Yunus hop like a partridge.

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