That by which our hearts are held

by Yunus Emre

English version by Kabir Helminski & Refik Algan
Original Language Turkish

That by which our hearts are held,
whole worlds love it too.
I can't deny the truth --
many ways lead to the One.

Those whom the Beloved loves,
we must also love.
If someone is a friend to the Friend,
how can we afford not to be friends?

If you would be a lover,
befriend him who loves your Friend;
and if you cannot,
don't call yourself a friend of mine.

Whomever you tend to despise,
hold dear instead.
Don't belittle others, respect them.
This is where the path leads.

If your heart is filled with love,
your way is sacrifice.
Through sacrifice you will find your place
in the ranks of Love.

Hearts which truly love the Truth,
Truth will open a door wide.
Dismantle the house of selfishness.
Put away your self-regard.

High and low, enemy, neighbor,
the Friend serves them all.
Whoever wants to spread this word
must first go out of his home.

This counsel that Yunus gives
is like buried gold.
Those who love the Friend
find peace in both worlds.

-- from The Drop That Became the Sea: Lyric Poems of Yunus Emre, Translated by Kabir Helminski / Translated by Refik Algan

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The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology) Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems The Drop That Became the Sea: Lyric Poems of Yunus Emre Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey
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