Let's Take Yunus Emre

by Yunus Emre

English version by Jennifer Ferraro & Latif Bolat
Original Language Turkish

Let's be companions, the two of us.
     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's be close intimates, the two of us.
     Lets go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's go before this life is over,
Before our bodies disappear,
Before enemies come between us --

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Come on, let's go. Don't remain alone.
Let's be a chisel in the Friend's hand.
The only stop will be our sheikh's station.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's leave our towns and cities
and gladly suffer for the Friend.
Let's wrap our arms around our Beloved's waist.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's not be bewildered by the world.
Let's not be cheated by its sudden dying.
Let's not sit together never touching.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's give up this transient world
and fly to the lasting land of the Friend.
Let's give up all the playthings of the nafs.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Be a guide to me on this journey.
Let's set our destination at the Friend,
Not thinking where we begin or end.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

This world isn't everlasting.
With eyes half-open it is tempting.
Be a companion of lovers and a lover.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Before the news of death reaches us,
Before the hour when he grabs us by the collar,
Before Azrail makes his sudden move,

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's arrive at the Divine Truth
and inquire there about Reality.
     Let's take Yunus Emre with us --

          and go to the Friend, my soul.

-- from Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey, Translated by Jennifer Ferraro / Translated by Latif Bolat

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I like this image of calling to the soul to become a traveling companion on the road to the Friend.

Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

It's humorous when you think about it. The soul is already a part of yourself, why should you have to coax it? You might even say that the soul is yourself, something closer to your real self. Wouldn't the soul already be on the journey to the Friend, perhaps already at the Friend's door?

And what other part of the self is speaking? It would seem to be the surface, social sense of self, the named self, the little self, the ego, the nafs. You get the feeling that the self doing the speaking is the actually the hesitant one, trying to convince itself. There's a sort of self-teasing here, a bit of bravado while gathering courage for the journey.

We all need a nudge, and the best nudge comes from within.

And, oh yes--

Let's take Yunus Emre with us



Recommended Books: Yunus Emre

Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey The Drop That Became the Sea: Lyric Poems of Yunus Emre The Poetry of Yunus Emre: A Turkish Sufi Poet





Let's Take Yunus