Middle Eastern Poetry
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Hello dear stranger. This blog is a sanctuary - a sanctuary for the long forgotten. It contains a collection of poems from the Middle East. Do not be surprised by what you read. Do not despair. Keep an open mind. Enjoy. hit counter
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In order to draw blood from Majnun the surgeon sharpened his lancet. Majnun wept and said, “I fear that in place of blood out will flow longing for Layla.” - Nezami

In order to draw blood from Majnun the surgeon sharpened his lancet. Majnun wept and said, “I fear that in place of blood out will flow longing for Layla.” - Nezami

Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly. Let it cut more deeply. Let it ferment and season you; as few human or even divine ingredients can. Sometimes missing in my heart tonight has made me eyes so soft; my voice so tender; my need of God, [so] absolutely clear.
Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly. Let it cut more deeply. Let it ferment and season you; as few human or even divine ingredients can. Sometimes missing in my heart tonight has made me eyes so soft; my voice so tender; my need of God, [so] absolutely clear.
Come down my love. Abandon your adventurous flight. It’s high time for a happy life. Come into my house. Throw out my old belongings. Burn me again with your love. I know for sure - even if you burn the entire house,  your love will build me a new paradise. - Rumi
Come down my love. Abandon your adventurous flight. It’s high time for a happy life. Come into my house. Throw out my old belongings. Burn me again with your love. I know for sure - even if you burn the entire house,  your love will build me a new paradise. - Rumi
Sometimes I wonder, sweetest love, if you were a mere dream in a long winter night. A dream of spring-days, and of golden light which sheds its rays upon a frozen heart; a dream of wine that fills the drunken eye… And so I wonder, sweetest love, if I should drink this ruby wine, or rather weep? Each tear a bezel with your face engraved; a rosary to memorise your name. There are so many ways to call you back. Yes, even if you only were a dream. - Rumi

*Rumi’s last letter to Shams 

(Source: jolieing)

First war resembles a beautiful girl we all want to flirt with and believe. Later, it’s more a repulsive old whore, whose callers are bitter and grieve.Samuel HaNagid

(Source: godspard)


In the breast, knowledge is a lighted lantern; and on thy breast tis a coat of [nail] to ward off evil. - Rudaki *1914, Jewish scribes at the Tomb of Ezekiel near Babylon

In the breast, knowledge is a lighted lantern; and on thy breast tis a coat of [nail] to ward off evil. - Rudaki *1914, Jewish scribes at the Tomb of Ezekiel near Babylon


If the wind had taken me to you, I would have held tight to the skirts of the wind. I miss you so much that I would fly to you faster than a bird; but how can a bird with a clipped wing fly?
If the wind had taken me to you, I would have held tight to the skirts of the wind. I miss you so much that I would fly to you faster than a bird; but how can a bird with a clipped wing fly?

One night desperate Majnun prayed tearfully, ‘O Lord of mine who has abandoned me, why has thou “Majnun” called me? Why has thou made a lover of Leila for me? Thou hast made me a pillow of wild thorns; made me roam day and night without a home. What does thou want from my imprisonment? O Lord of mine, listen to my plea. - Nizami  

One night desperate Majnun prayed tearfully, ‘O Lord of mine who has abandoned me, why has thou “Majnun” called me? Why has thou made a lover of Leila for me? Thou hast made me a pillow of wild thorns; made me roam day and night without a home. What does thou want from my imprisonment? O Lord of mine, listen to my plea. - Nizami  

Since the day I may join my beloved is nowhere in sight, slowly I turn away from this love. ‘Impossible!’ my heart cries out, - it shakes its head and smirks at my sad plight.

(Source: xavierstea, via nehaiya)


Much have I labored, much read o’er of Arabic and Persian lore, collecting tales unknown and known; now two and sixty years are flown. Regret, and deeper woe of sin, ’tis all that youth has ended in! And I with mournful thoughts rehearse Bu Táhir Khusrawáni’s verse: “I mind me of my youth and sigh, alas for youth, for youth gone by!” - Ferdowsi 
Much have I labored, much read o’er of Arabic and Persian lore, collecting tales unknown and known; now two and sixty years are flown. Regret, and deeper woe of sin, ’tis all that youth has ended in! And I with mournful thoughts rehearse Bu Táhir Khusrawáni’s verse: “I mind me of my youth and sigh, alas for youth, for youth gone by!” - Ferdowsi 

The words you utter for the sake of faith, be they Hebrew or Syriac, are the same; the house you seek for the sake of truth, be it in the East or the West is alike. - Sana’i 

The words you utter for the sake of faith, be they Hebrew or Syriac, are the same; the house you seek for the sake of truth, be it in the East or the West is alike. - Sana’i 

Whoever is loved is beautiful, but this doesn’t mean that whoever is beautiful is loved. ”There are girls more beautiful than Laila, ”they used to tell Majnun. “Let us bring some to you.” ”I do not love Laila for her form,” Majnun would reply. “Laila is like a cup in my hand. I drink wine from that cup. I am in love with that wine. You only have eyes for the goblet and do not know the wine. A golden goblet studded with precious stones, but containing only vinegar, what use is that to me? An old broken gourd with wine is better in my eyes than a hundred goblets of gold. - Rumi
Whoever is loved is beautiful, but this doesn’t mean that whoever is beautiful is loved. ”There are girls more beautiful than Laila, ”they used to tell Majnun. “Let us bring some to you.” ”I do not love Laila for her form,” Majnun would reply. “Laila is like a cup in my hand. I drink wine from that cup. I am in love with that wine. You only have eyes for the goblet and do not know the wine. A golden goblet studded with precious stones, but containing only vinegar, what use is that to me? An old broken gourd with wine is better in my eyes than a hundred goblets of gold. - Rumi

Our Plato! Galen! By Love our earthly flesh borne to heavens; our mountains made supple moved to dance. Love moved Mount Sinai, my love, and it made Moses swoon. - Rumi 

Our Plato! Galen! By Love our earthly flesh borne to heavens; our mountains made supple moved to dance. Love moved Mount Sinai, my love, and it made Moses swoon. - Rumi 


She married me, in spite of the tribe; and she travelled with me, in spite of the tribe. She gave me Zeynab and Omar, in spite of the tribe. [And] when I used to ask her, ‘Why she would take me?’ - like a child, against her chest… ‘Because you are my tribe.’ - N. Qabbani

She married me, in spite of the tribe; and she travelled with me, in spite of the tribe. She gave me Zeynab and Omar, in spite of the tribe. [And] when I used to ask her, ‘Why she would take me?’ - like a child, against her chest… ‘Because you are my tribe.’ - N. Qabbani

(via fletchingarrows)


On nights of torment and sorrow it’s waters saturates the pillow. It comes like the smell of moss with green steps. To touch my right palm with a jasmine sprig… Wake up, wake up. I am the river. Don’t you love me? Don’t you want to reach Basra on the wings of the pillow? Oh river, I am awake."On my pillow a drop that tastes like moss…" It’s Basra. - Saadi Y.

*Iraq, 1934. 

On nights of torment and sorrow it’s waters saturates the pillow. It comes like the smell of moss with green steps. To touch my right palm with a jasmine sprig… Wake up, wake up. I am the river. Don’t you love me? Don’t you want to reach Basra on the wings of the pillow? Oh river, I am awake."On my pillow a drop that tastes like moss…" It’s Basra. - Saadi Y.

*Iraq, 1934.