Monday, April 3, 2017

Nesimi - What of it?



I myself took up the cloak of blame;
I smashed the bottle of honour and virtue on a stone.
        What of it?

 
Sometimes I rise up and watch the universe from above,
sometimes I go down to earth and lose myself in love.
        What of it?

 
Sometimes I study life’s meaning in the holy books,
sometimes I go to the tavern and get drunk.
        What of it?

 
Sometimes I enter my garden to pick roses for my darling;
I grew those roses and I gathered them.
        What of it?

 
The wine of this love is a sin, the orthodox think--
The sin is mine, I fill my glass and drink.
        What of it?

 
The pious bow to the niche in the mosque;
I bow at the Beloved’s doorstep, pressing my face up close.
        What of it?

 
My enemy says loving beauty is sinful.
I love my beloved so I’ll gladly pay that price.
        What of it?

 
They ask Nesimi,
are you and your beloved getting along?
Whether we get along or not, my Beloved is mine.
        What of it? 


translated by Latif Bolat and Jennifer Ferraro


Nesimi (15th c.) Little is know of the early life of Seyid Imadeddin Nesimi, 
one of the greatest Turkish mystical poets of the late 14th and early 15th centuries.

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