I am a fountain, You are my water

by Zeynep Hatun

English version by Murat Yagan
Original Language Turkish

I am a fountain, You are my water.
I flow from You to You.

I am an eye, You are my light,
I look from You to You.

You are neither my right nor my left.
You are my foot and my arm as well.

I am a traveler, You are my road.
I go from You to You.

-- from Women in Sufism: A Hidden Treasure - Writings and Stories of Mystics Poets, Scholars & Saints, Edited by Camille Adams Helminski

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I have loved this poem ever since I discovered it several years ago. That makes it doubly frustrating that, in the intervening years, I have only found one other poem by her in English translation (and that second poem's translation was a rather dry Victorian translation).

This single poem suggests such a richness of soul behind it. Perhaps it is enough to stand for all the poems that have fallen silent.

I am a fountain, You are my water.
I flow from You to You.


The single image of a fountain and flowing water elegantly suggests so much to us: The Divine Beloved is the vivifying, animating, all-permeating medium. The water is the life and soul of the fountain.

The imagery suggests to us a sense of self that is no longer fixed. Whatever we are, we flow. And everywhere we flow from, through, and to, we remain in contact with the Beloved.

I am a traveler, You are my road.
I go from You to You.


Each step, each arc of movement and point of rest, is another instance of delicious touch in the divine love affair that is life's journey.



Recommended Books: Zeynep Hatun

Women in Sufism: A Hidden Treasure - Writings and Stories of Mystics Poets, Scholars & Saints
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I am a fountain