Photo: Saqqa (Water supplier) in Cairo; 19th century
I learned the inside way
from a licensed guide.
Old Man Love:
"Come in, come in:
don't loiter around
cups of pain.
and he embraced me
or one disguised
I know nothing:
Nasimi: canceled out
in the beauty
'The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry'
By Peter Lamborn Wilson (Translator), Nasrollah Pourjavady (Translator)
Peter Lamborn Wilson (AKA 'Hakim Bey, and 'Ontological Anarchy') and Nasrollah Pourjavady carefully selected and translated arguably the very best of Persian mystical verse to exhibit the long spiritual journey of a Sufi dervish in the quest of union with and annihilation in God. Those even faintly acquainted with Middle-Eastern poetry will recognize some of the star names in this volume, which include Ahmad Ghazali, Ahmad Jami, Attar, Hafez, Ibn Arabi, Nezami, Rumi, and Shirazi amongst others. It is certainly the sort of anthology of cosmological views which can potentially influence the course of one's life. One extract:
"You must take these poems as mirrors; for you know that a mirror has no form of itself, but rather reflects the face of anyone who looks in it. Just so, a poem has no one particular meaning of itself, but presents to each reader his state at the moment and the completeness of his case. Now if you were to object that a poem does indeed have a single particular meaning, namely that its various readers simply make up some arbitrary meaning of their own, then I should reply that the form of the mirror is the form of the mirror maker. For was he not the first person whose face it reflected?" - Ayn al-Qozat Hamadani.
And so it is that in reading, contemplating and reflecting upon these verses that the reader glimpses his own state of mind and affairs. It is really an invitation to open a door through which is the view of another world.