Themes :
Light

Light is one of the primary metaphors in sacred poetry, suggesting the Divine not framed within a mental concept. But for many genuine mystics, this light is directly experienced.

This sense of light is more than a brightness one might experience on a sunny afternoon. This light is perceived as being a living radiance that permeates everything, everywhere, always. This light is immediately understood to be the true source of all things, the foundation on which the physicality of the material world is built.

The sense of boundaries and separation, long taken for granted by the mind as the fundamental nature of existence, suddenly seems illusory, for this light shines through all people and things. It has no edges, and the light of one is the light of all.

Often, one describes being "bathed" in this light, and that is absolutely fitting. This light is not merely an airy phenomenon of the visual realm; it is tactile, permeating, embracing, profoundly soothing, revitalizing, healing. Some describe it in liquid language: water, fountain, lake, a shining white or golden ocean.

This light is recognized as your own Self, while simultaneously being the Self of all others. Since this light is you and, at the same time, it radiates within all, the question arises: How can there be separation? conflict? loss?

This is the light of the true mystics.

Poems with the theme of Light

  Abulafia, Rabbi Abraham Circles 1 (from Life of the Future World)
  Adyashanti A Tendency to Shine
  Adyashanti When you start to see the light that you really are
  AE (Russell, George William) Divine Visitation
  AE (Russell, George William) Star Teachers
  AE (Russell, George William) The Hermit
  AE (Russell, George William) The Place of Rest
  AE (Russell, George William) The Unknown God
  AE (Russell, George William) Unity
  Akha Far away is the Lord Supreme
  Akha Speaker of truth and the sun -- these two
  Akha When one settles into a state of desirelessness
  al-Alawi, Ahmad Layla
  Alighieri, Dante All Being within this order, by the laws (from The Paradiso, Canto I)
  Alighieri, Dante The glory of Him who moves all things rays forth (from The Paradiso, Canto I)
  Alighieri, Dante The love of God, unutterable and perfect
  Allama Prabhu Light
  Ammons, A. R. Hymn
  Ammons, A. R. Rogue Elephant
  Angelou, Maya Touched by an Angel
  Arabi, Muhyiddin ibn In Memory of Those Who Melt the Soul Forever
  Arabi, Muhyiddin ibn In the Mirror of a Man
  Arabi, Muhyiddin ibn Oh, her beauty--the tender maid!
  Attar, Farid ud-Din The pilgrim sees no form but His and knows
  Attar, Farid ud-Din The Valley of the Quest
  Attar, Farid ud-Din Invocation
  Attar, Farid ud-Din God Speaks to David
  Attar, Farid ud-Din How long then will you seek for beauty here?
  Attar, Farid ud-Din Mysticism
  Attar, Farid ud-Din The angels have bowed down to you and drowned
  Attar, Farid ud-Din The Birds Find Their King
  Aurobindo The Word of The Silence
  Bacharach, Naftali A Poem for the Sefirot as a Wheel of Light
  Barker, Elsa He Who Knows Love
  Basava The eating bowl is not one bronze
  Bays, Hogen In this passing moment
  Bedil, Abdul-Qader Creation's Witness
  ben Kallir, Eleazar Epithalamium
  Berry, Wendell Sabbaths 1998, VI
  Berry, Wendell The Wish to Be Generous
  Berry, Wendell To Know the Dark
  Bitkoff, Stewart The Religions
  Blake, William Auguries of Innocence
  Blake, William Hear the voice of the Bard!
  Boethius Invocation
  Boethius The Mists Dispelled
  Brabazon, Francis We have waited all night for you, and now the dawn is come
  Bronte, Emily Last Lines
  Broughton, James Easter Exultet
  Broughton, James Lessen the doldrums
  Broughton, James Take the whole kit
  Carpenter, Edward The sun, the moon and the stars
  Catherine of Siena Consumed in Grace
  Clare of Assisi O blessed poverty
  Clare of Assisi Place your mind before the mirror of eternity!
  Clare of Assisi What you hold, may you always hold
  Coleridge, Samuel Taylor The Presence of Love
  Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Reason
  Colliver, Andrew A Day of Light
  Colliver, Andrew Good Medicine
  Colliver, Andrew Nocturne
  Colliver, Andrew When the World Comes Clear
  Crashaw, Richard A Song
  Crashaw, Richard The Flaming Heart or the Life of the Glorious S. Teresa
  Crashaw, Richard To the Name above every Name, the Name of Jesus
  cummings, e. e. i am a little church(no great cathedral)
  Dadu Dayal So priceless is the birth, O brother
  Dariya Who can describe the Source of the universe
  Dariya Without love there can be no devotion and wisdom (from Love Chapter)
  Dickinson, Emily Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat?
  Dickinson, Emily I see thee better -- in the Dark
  Dickinson, Emily Always Mine!
  Dickinson, Emily 'Twas my one Glory
  Dickinson, Emily Of whom so dear
  Dionysius the Areopagite from The Doctrine of Infinite Growth
  Efendi, Seyh Ibrahim The Sufi Way
  Eliot, T. S. I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you (from Four Quartets)
  Emre, Yunus The drink sent down from Truth
  Feuerstein, Georg Our Worded Universe
  Feuerstein, Georg The Crone's Blessing
  Fox, John When Jewels Sing
  Francis of Assisi Let us desire nothing else
  Francis of Assisi Prayer Inspired by the Our Father
  Francis of Assisi The Prayer Before the Crucifix
  Francis of Assisi The Canticle of Brother Sun
  Francis of Assisi The Canticle of Brother Sun
  Galib, Seyh Were I your treasure, you would squander me
  Giraut de Bornelh Reis glorios / Glorious king
  Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Ha! A rush of bliss (from Faust)
  Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von In a Thousand Forms
  Granger, Ivan M. The Warbler Knows
  Gyatso, Chone Lama Lodro A Dance of Unwavering Devotion
  Gyatso, Kelsang Little Tiger
  ha Nagid, Samuel On Fleeing His City
  Hadewijch Love Has Seven Names
  Hafiz A New World
  Hafiz Beauty Radiated in Eternity
  Hafiz Sun Rays
  Hafiz The Garden
  Hafiz The Glow of Your Presence
  Hafiz (Ladinsky, Daniel) A Crystal Rim
  Hafiz (Ladinsky, Daniel) Love is the Funeral Pyre
  Hafiz (Ladinsky, Daniel) Why Aren't We Screaming Drunks?
  Hakuin The monkey is reaching
  Han-Ch'ing, Kuan this autumn scene's worth words paint
  Han-shan (Cold Mountain) Above Cold Mountain the moon shines alone
  Han-shan (Cold Mountain) Sitting alone in peace before these cliffs
  Hanh, Thich Nhat Fall Moon Festival
  Hanh, Thich Nhat Looking for Each Other
  Hayati, Bibi Before there was a hint of civilization
  Hayati, Bibi How can I see the splendor of the moon
  Hayati, Bibi Is it the night of power
  Hekhalot Hymns (Anonymous) The Face of God
  Hekhalot Hymns (Anonymous) The Throne of Glory Addresses the King
  Herbert, George The Pearl. Matthew 13
  Hildegard von Bingen O most noble Greenness, rooted in the sun
  Hildegard von Bingen O nobilissima viriditas / Responsory for Virgins
  Hildegard von Bingen O spectabiles viri / Antiphon for Patriarchs and Prophets
  Hildegard von Bingen O virga mediatrix / Alleluia-verse for the Virgin
  Himmet, Kul No Ordinary Goods
  Hirshfield, Jane The Envoy
  Hirshfield, Jane To Hear the Falling World
  Holderlin, Friedrich Conviction
  Holmes, Dick You Have Me
  Hopkins, Gerard Manley God's Grandeur
  Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku [16] When I consider the virtue of abusive words (from The Shodoka)
  Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku [26] The moon shines on the river (from The Shodoka)
  Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku [29] The mind-mirror is clear, so there are no obstacles (from The Shodoka)
  Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku [44] Mind is the base, phenomena are dust (from The Shodoka)
  Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku [59] Two monks were guilty of murder and carnality (from The Shodoka)
  Ibn al-Farid, Umar Compared to my dawn (from The Poem of the Sufi Way)
  Ibn al-Farid, Umar From his light (from The Poem of the Sufi Way)
  Ibn Ata' Illah The light of the inner eye lets you see His nearness to you
  Ibn Ata' Illah Those travelling to Him
  ibn Gabirol, Solomon Thou art the Supreme Light
  ibn Gabirol, Solomon Where Will I Find You
  ibn Gabirol, Solomon Who can do as Thy deeds
  ibn Gabirol, Solomon Who could accomplish what you've accomplished
  ibn Gabirol, Solomon You are wise (from From Kingdom's Crown)
  Iqbal, Allama Muhammad Selfhood can demolish the magic of this world (from Baal-i-Jibreel)
  Iqbal, Allama Muhammad To the Saqi (from Baal-i-Jibreel)
  Iraqi, Fakhruddin Every word of every tongue is
  Iraqi, Fakhruddin The world but seems to be
  Issa, Kobayashi by the light of graveside lanterns
  Izzet, Asik Ali The Path of the Beautiful
  Jacobsen, Rolf Guardian Angel
  Jacopone da Todi (Benedetti, Jacopone) As air becomes the medium for light when the sun rises
  Jacopone da Todi (Benedetti, Jacopone) In losing all, the soul has risen (from Self-Annihilation and Charity Lead the Soul...)
  Jacopone da Todi (Benedetti, Jacopone) Love beyond all telling (from Self-Annihilation and Charity Lead the Soul...)
  Jacopone da Todi (Benedetti, Jacopone) Love, infusing with light all who share Your splendor (from In Praise of Divine Love)
  Jakushitsu Rain in Autumn
  Jayadeva You rest on the circle of Sri's breast (from The Gitagovinda)
  Jimenez, Juan Ramon Full Consciousness
  Jnanadev Knowledge and Ignorance (from Amritanubhav)
  Jnanadev The Refutation of Knowledge (from Amritanubhav)
  John of the Cross Full of Hope I Climbed the Day
  John of the Cross Song of the Soul That Delights in Knowing God by Faith
  John of the Cross The Fountain
  John of the Cross Without a Place and With a Place
  Kabir The light of the sun, the moon, and the stars shines bright
  Kabir The moon shines in my body
  Kalidas (Edwards, Lawrence) A faint glow in the Eastern sky
  Kalidas (Edwards, Lawrence) Take Refuge in Silence
  Kalidas (Edwards, Lawrence) The Mind Like a Firefly
  Kalidasa Exhortation of the Dawn
  Kamalakanta Is my black Mother Syama really black?
  Kerouac, Jack Bowery Blues
  Kerouac, Jack The Scripture of the Golden Eternity
  Khunrath, Heinrich A Philosophicall short songe of the incorporating of the Spirit of the Lord in Salt
  Khusrow Dehlawi, Amir Last Night
  Ko Un Indangsu sea, shine dark blue
  Ko Un Two beggars
  Krishnamurti, Jiddu Song of the Beloved (from The Immortal Friend)
  Kuhi of Shiraz, Baba In the market, in the cloister--only God I saw
  Lakota (Anonymous) Three Lakota Songs
  Lalan As the man and the woman in me
  Lalan Could I ever forget him
  Lalan The moon is encircled by moons
  Latif Bhitai, Shah Abdul If you are seeking Allah
  Lawrence, D. H. And Oh--That The Man I Am Might Cease To Be--
  Lawrence, D. H. Glory
  Lawrence, D. H. God is Born
  Lee, Li-Young Become Becoming
  Leon, Luis de A New Light Doth Shine
  Leon, Luis de Ode to Francisco Salinas
  Levertov, Denise Celebration
  Levertov, Denise Making Peace
  Levine, Stephen Meng's mountain
  Luria, Isaac A Poem for the Small Face
  Machado, Antonio Last night, as I was sleeping
  Machado, Antonio Last night, as I was sleeping [Bly]
  Machado, Antonio Songs
  Maghribi, Muhammad Shirin O End of Every Beginning
  Maghsoud, Moulana Shah The light of the beloved rises from the horizon of my heart
  Maghsoud, Moulana Shah The sun's radiance in her face is in
  Mahadevi, Akka Sunlight made visible
  Mahadevi, Akka You can confiscate
  Maharshi, Ramana The Marital Garland of Letters
  Maharshi, Ramana The Necklet of Nine Gems
  Maier, Michael If BOREAS can in his own Wind conceive (from Atalanta Fugiens)
  Maier, Michael Three Golden Apples from the Hesperian grove (from Atalanta Fugiens)
  Manikkavacakar Becoming sky & earth
  McCombs, Chris Is This Your Time?
  Mechthild of Magdeburg Of the voices of the Godhead
  Mechthild of Magdeburg Wouldst thou know my meaning?
  Meher Baba How Wonderful is the murderous mercy of God!
  Meher Baba Oh Beloved Master
  Meher Baba The Beloved's Poem on His Dhuni
  Merton, Thomas A Psalm
  Merton, Thomas Aubade -- The City
  Merton, Thomas Stranger
  Merton, Thomas The Sowing of Meanings
  Meshullam da Piera Song at Dawn
  Milarepa Response to a Logician
  Milarepa The Profound Definitive Meaning
  Milarepa Upon this earth, the land of the Victorious Ones
  Milosz, Czeslaw Love
  Milosz, Czeslaw On Angels
  Mipham Rinpoche, Sakyong Snow Fell Twice, The Sun Always Shone
  Mipham Rinpoche, Sakyong Night in Kalapa
  Mirabai Mira is Steadfast
  Mistral, Gabriela Those Who Do Not Dance
  Muhaiyaddeen, Bawa The things that change are not our real life
  Muktabai Though he has no form
  Nachmanides (Nachman, Moses ben) Prayers for the Protection and Opening of the Heart
  Nachmanides (Nachman, Moses ben) The Soul Speaks (from Hymn on the Fate of the Soul)
  Namdev The thundering resonance of the Word
  Namdev When I see His ways, I sing
  Nasimi, Imadeddin At love's most sumptuous feast was I with love made drunk
  Nasimi, Imadeddin Canceled Out
  Nawaz, Gharib Riddle
  Nawaz, Gharib The Second Jesus
  Nematollah Vali, Shah I beheld my essence
  Neruda, Pablo I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz
  Neruda, Pablo Past
  Neruda, Pablo Too Many Names
  Niffari (an-Niffari, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan) The Standing "My Time Has Come"
  Novalis When Geometric Diagrams...
  Nurbakhsh, Javad The Beloved
  O'Donohue, John A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted
  O'Donohue, John Beannacht / Blessing
  O'Donohue, John For the Unknown Self
  O'Donohue, John In Praise of the Earth
  O'Donohue, John May the light of your soul guide you
  O'Donohue, John The Inner History of a Day
  Oliver, Colin As these stars answer
  Oliver, Colin Endpoem
  Oliver, Colin Evening
  Oliver, Colin Ploughing at Nightfall
  Oliver, Mary Mindful
  Oliver, Mary Spring
  Oliver, Mary Starlings in Winter
  Oliver, Mary The Buddha's Last Instruction
  Oliver, Mary The Ponds
  Oliver, Mary What I Have Learned So Far
  Pampattic Cittar Like the drops of water that will not adhere to the leaf of the lotus
  Pampattic Cittar One must delve deep
  Patrul Rinpoche Advice from Me to Myself
  Pima (Anonymous) Medicine Man's Song
  Rabia al-Basri (Adawiyya, Rabia al-) My joy
  Rabjampa, Longchen An Adamantine Song on the Ever-Present
  Rahman Baba Soul Train
  Rahman Baba Sow Flowers
  Ramakrishna Is there anyone in the universe
  Ramprasad (Sen, Ramprasad) Conquer Death with the drumbeat Ma! Ma! Ma!
  Ramprasad (Sen, Ramprasad) Mother, this is the grief that sorely grieves my heart
  Ramprasad (Sen, Ramprasad) Who is that Syama woman
  Ramsay, Jay Beginning
  Ramsay, Jay By Loch Arrow
  Ramsay, Jay I saw a great light come down over London
  Ramsay, Jay In the Aber Valley
  Ramsay, Jay Infinity and Beyond
  Ravidas How to Escape?
  Reninger, Elizabeth Bird Bath
  Reninger, Elizabeth Dawn
  Reninger, Elizabeth Reflection
  Reninger, Elizabeth splash
  Reninger, Elizabeth Vision
  Rilke, Rainer Maria Buddha in Glory
  Rilke, Rainer Maria The Second Elegy (from The Duino Elegies)
  Rilke, Rainer Maria Want the change
  Roethke, Theodore It Was Beginning Winter
  Roethke, Theodore The Waking
  Roethke, Theodore Was it Light?
  Rosenstock, Gabriel Spring With a Thousand Clichés
  Rosenstock, Gabriel what speeded them on their way? (from Uttering Her Name)
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin By the God who was in pre-eternity living and moving and omnipotent, everlasting
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin I lost my world, my fame, my mind
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin Like This
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin Now comes the final merging
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin Reason, leave now! You'll not find wisdom here!
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin That moon which the sky never saw
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin The glow of the light of daybreak is in your emerald vault, the goblet of the blood of twilight is your blood-measuring bowl
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin This love sacrifices all souls, however wise, however "awakened"
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin What I want is to see your face
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin With Us
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin A World with No Boundaries (Ghazal 363)
  Rumi, Mevlana Jelaluddin You are closer to me than myself (Ghazal 2798)
  Ryokan The Autumn Moon
  Ryokan This world
  Sa'di How could I ever thank my Friend?
  Sanai, Hakim Naked in the Bee-House
  Sanai, Hakim Then through that dim murkiness
  Saraha The Royal Song of Saraha (Dohakosa)
  Sarmad Once I was bathed in the Light of Truth within
  Shabistari, Mahmud One Light
  Shabistari, Mahmud Reason (from The Secret Rose Garden)
  Shabistari, Mahmud The Marriage of the Soul (from The Secret Rose Garden)
  Shabistari, Mahmud The Mirror (from The Secret Rose Garden)
  Shabkar (Rangdrol, Shabkar Tsogdruk) A Song by a Yogi in Solitude
  Shih-te (Pickup) Behold the glow of the moon
  Shiwu (Stonehouse) It's something no on can force
  silent lotus Feel the Peace
  silent lotus In the Clearing
  Silesius, Angelus Friend, whatever you are, you must not stand still
  Singh, Darshan At dusk, at dawn I gaze upon your beauty
  Singh, Darshan How did I ever think silence the language of love?
  Singh, Darshan How should I tell of the feeling that reigns
  Snyder, Gary How Poetry Comes to Me
  Solovyov, Vladimir If desires fly by like shadows
  Solovyov, Vladimir The Sign
  Solovyov, Vladimir Sophia in Egypt (from Three Meetings)
  Solovyov, Vladimir Three Meetings
  Solovyov, Vladimir Near, far off, not here, not there
  Soseki, Muso Temple of Eternal Light
  Soseki, Muso The Gate of Universal Light
  Stein, Edith I Will Remain With You...
  Stein, Edith Novena Of The Holy Spirit
  Sun Buer The beginning of the sustenance of life
  Surdas Krishna Awakes
  Swir, Anna My Body Effervesces
  Swir, Anna There is a Light in Me
  Symeon the New Theologian By what boundless mercy, my Savior
  Symeon the New Theologian How is it I can love You
  Symeon the New Theologian In the midst of that night, in my darkness
  Symeon the New Theologian The fire rises in me
  Symeon the New Theologian The Light of Your Way
  Symeon the New Theologian We awaken in Christ's body
  Symeon the New Theologian What is this awesome mystery
  Symeon the New Theologian You, oh Christ, are the Kingdom of Heaven
  Szymborska, Wislawa Children of Our Era
  Szymborska, Wislawa Possibilities
  Teasdale, Sara I Am Not Yours
  Teasdale, Sara It Is Not a Word
  Tennyson, Alfred And Galahad fled along them bridge by bridge (from The Holy Grail)
  Tennyson, Alfred St. Agnes' Eve
  Tennyson, Alfred The Higher Pantheism
  Thayumanavar All visible life that is clothed in body vesture (from Bliss that is Perfect Full)
  Thayumanavar Prayer to Being - Let Us Contemplate
  Thayumanavar What is it, which is
  Therese of Lisieux The Atom of Jesus-Host
  Therese of Lisieux My Song for Today
  Therese of Lisieux The Divine Dew
  Thomas, R. S. Kneeling
  Tilopa Song of the Mahamudra (Tilopa's Song to Naropa)
  Tiruvalluvar Realization
  Tiruvalluvar Truthfulness
  Tolkien, J. R. R. All That is Gold Does Not Glitter (Gandalf's Song of Aragorn)
  Tolkien, J. R. R. Eärendil the Mariner
  Tolkien, J. R. R. Elbereth
  Tolkien, J. R. R. Gandalf's Song of Lórien
  Tolkien, J. R. R. The Song of Beren and Lúthien
  Traherne, Thomas The Rapture
  Traherne, Thomas The Vision
  Traherne, Thomas Wonder
  Trungpa, Chogyam Expose
  Tu Fu Moon, Rain, Riverbank
  Tu Fu Rain, Four Poems: Two Selections
  Tukaram Smaller than the smallest atom
  Tulsi Sahib Glimpse of the Invisible
  Tulsi Sahib The Rainy Season
  Tulsi Sahib Within This Body
  Ueshiba, Morihei The vast Universe!
  Underhill, Evelyn Corpus Christi
  Underhill, Evelyn Dynamic Love
  Valad, Sultan The Soul That Does not Live in God is not Alive
  Vaughan, Henry The Morning Watch
  Vaughan, Henry The Night
  Vaughan, Henry Vanity of Spirit
  Vivekananda In dense darkness, O Mother
  Vivekananda Kali the Mother
  Vivekananda Song of the Sanyasin
  Walters, Dorothy After
  Walters, Dorothy Don't Make Lists
  Walters, Dorothy Hymn to the Nameless One
  Walters, Dorothy If You Want
  Walters, Dorothy Scars of Rapture
  Walters, Dorothy Shambhala
  Walters, Dorothy The Abundance of Brightness
  Walters, Dorothy The Moment
  Walters, Dorothy They Speak
  Wei, Wang Deer Fence
  Wei, Wang Stone Gate Temple in the Blue Field Mountains
  Whitman, Walt [2] Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with perfumes (from Song of Myself)
  Whitman, Walt [9] The big doors of the country barn stand open and ready (from Song of Myself)
  Whitman, Walt [24] Walt Whitman, a cosmos, of Manhattan the son (from Song of Myself)
  Wordsworth, William For I have learned (from Tintern Abbey)
  Wordsworth, William Imagination--here the Power so called (from The Prelude, Book 6)
  Wordsworth, William O joy! that in our embers (from Ode. Intimations of Immortality)
  Wordsworth, William Oh! yet a few short years of useful life (from The Prelude, Book 14)
  Wordsworth, William The Daffodils
  Wordsworth, William The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star (from Ode. Intimations of Immortality)
  Wordsworth, William Visionary power (from The Prelude, Book 5)
  Yannai The Celestial Fire
  Yeats, William Butler Crazy Jane and God
  Yen-shou, Yung-ming Immovable Mind
  Yogananda, Paramahansa OM
  Yogananda, Paramahansa Samadhi
  Yogananda, Paramahansa Thy light transfigures all creation
  Yun, Hsu Feelings on Remembering the Day I first Produced the Mind
  Yun, Hsu Mirror Pond on Mount Taibo in Shanxi
  Zohar (Leon, Moses de) The Creation of Elohim
  Zohar (Leon, Moses de) The Gates (from Openings)
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