When the desire for the Friend became real

by Abu-Said Abil-Kheir

English version by Vraje Abramian
Original Language Persian/Farsi

When the desire for the Friend became real,
all existence fell behind.
The Beloved wasn't interested in my reasoning,
I threw it away and became silent.
The sanity I had been taught became a bore,
it had to be ushered off.
Insane, silent and in bliss,
I spend my days with my head
at the feet of My Beloved.

-- from Nobody, Son of Nobody: Poems of Shaikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir, Translated by Vraje Abramian

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/ Photo by Hamed Saber /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

We had blizzard yesterday, here in Colorado. Gusts of wind filled the world with white. Today the sun is out again, and the white world glistens.

What does that have to do with today's poem? Nothing I suppose.

When the desire for the Friend became real,
all existence fell behind.


I keep returning to the poetry of Abu-Said Abil-Kheir, and each time I do I find myself muttering some variation of, "Mm. Wow."

But what do I have to say about this poem?

The Beloved wasn't interested in my reasoning,
I threw it away and became silent.


Nothing, I suppose.

But each line insists on repeating itself in my mind.

The sanity I had been taught became a bore,
it had to be ushered off.


The sun is out, a day to yield and melt...

Insane, silent and in bliss,
I spend my days with my head
at the feet of My Beloved.



Recommended Books: Abu-Said Abil-Kheir

Nobody, Son of Nobody: Poems of Shaikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry Love's Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi Tradition The Mystics of Islam Under the Sufi's Cloak: Stories of Abu Said and His Mystical Teaching





When the desire for