The Lamp of Your Face

by Mohammad 'Aref San'at

English version by Peter Lamborn Wilson and Nasrollah Pourjavady
Original Language Persian/Farsi

What need
          lovers for world's delights
or the moth
          for refined pleasures,
          "viewing the garden"?
His lips
          parched for water of Union
with the Beloved:
          what need to chase
          the "fountain of Khezr"?
He who falls
          in your quarter, what need
for the caravans
          of paradise except
          to seek your love?
Surrendering his body
          to the couch of your disease
what need has he
          for the "healing breath"
          of Jesus?
If the Friend
          did not sit with him
in his retreat, what need
          for the cloister
          of solitude?
Today he gives up
          his soul to separation:
why should he wait
          for the promise
          of tomorrow?
What need anymore
          for glass after glass
of red wine, intoxicated,
          unconscious with your
I am that moth
          at the lamp of your face:
San'at, what do I need
          with the candle
          of manifestation?

-- from The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry, Translated by Peter Lamborn Wilson / Translated by Nasrollah Pourjavady

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Recommended Books: Mohammad 'Aref San'at

The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry

The Lamp of Your