Oct 01 2021

Asik Ali Izzet – The Path of the Beautiful

Published by at 8:01 am under Poetry

The Path of the Beautiful
by Asik Ali Izzet

English version by Jennifer Ferraro & Latif Bolat

Appreciating beauty is said to be a virtue.
      To see beauty beautifully
            is beautiful.

Those who have a beautiful beloved in Paradise are beautiful.
      To travel the path of beauty,
            is beautiful.

The sun rises from the beautiful one’s eyebrows.
      The beautiful one’s teeth are just like pearls.
      To share beautiful food at Beauty’s table
            is beautiful.

To linger with the beautiful one beautifully
      is beautiful —

To write the beautiful name:
      beautiful —

To drink with the beautiful one:
      beautiful —

To kiss the hand of the beautiful one:
      beautiful.

The light drips from the cheeks of the beautiful.
      Honey drips from the lips of the beautiful.

Hold the hand of the beautiful beautifully.
      To serve the beautiful one
            is beautiful.

The eyes that perceive beauty will never suffer.
      Who loves beauty may die but will never decay;

Ali Izzet never shies away from beauty —
      To love beauty from the depths of one’s soul
            is beautiful.

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


/ Image by benleto /

A reminder to us all not to get lost in life’s minutia and bruises and anxieties… beneath it all we can always find beauty.

To see beauty beautifully
            is beautiful.

That beauty can be a window that reveals the beautiful one behind it all.

To travel the path of beauty,
            is beautiful.

Beauty is a pathway, a spiritual practice. Bearing witness to beauty takes skill: quiet eyes, a calm heart.

To love beauty from the depths of one’s soul
            is beautiful.

May we all discover the beauty in the paths we walk!


Recommended Books: Asik Ali Izzet

Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey


Asik Ali Izzet, Asik Ali Izzet poetry, Muslim / Sufi poetry Asik Ali Izzet

Turkey (1902 – 1981) Timeline
Muslim / Sufi

I’ve had a difficult time finding much information in English on the life of Asik Ali Izzet, which is frustrating considering how well-loved his poetry and music are in Turkey. You can, for example, find many contemporary Turkish recordings of songs composed by Asik Ali Izzet.

Most of my information below comes from the excellent anthology, Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey, by Jennifer Ferraro and Latif Bolat.

At a young age, Ali Izzet became an asik or ashik — a wandering minstrel who travels throughout the country composing and singing songs, accompanied by the stringed saz. He was both a Sufi and a social activist. Although he didn’t have much formal education, his work came to be widely appreciated in his lifetime. Her shared his poems and songs in many of the great performance halls of Turkey. Later in life he was persecuted for his leftist politics and he died in relative obscurity in Ankara in 1981. His songs and poetry, however, have enjoyed a revival and are widely appreciated today.

More poetry by Asik Ali Izzet

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Asik Ali Izzet – The Path of the Beautiful”

  1. Mystic Meanderingon 01 Oct 2021 at 2:14 pm

    Beautiful! 😉

  2. Carolon 02 Oct 2021 at 4:21 am

    Thank You Ivan. Beautiful, yes. Bliss heals, yes.

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