Photo: Amir Abdul Qader al-Jazairi.
I live in exile, exiled from my land of birth,
From her exalted peaks and vast deserts,
From the vivid colors of all that grows from her soil,
From her azure bright skies,
Exiled in the occident of this world.
But is not this domain of transience,
This world of birth and death,
Of shadows cast upon the cascades of light
Itself the occident, whether it be in East or West,
Of that Orient which is light pure,
Unadulterated by the imperfections of earthly life?
It is from that world that we are all exiled,
It is that world from which we all hail
And to that world that we must return,
Return after our earthly journey's end.
That Orient we carry in our hearts
At that center which is the seat of the All-Merciful,
Our very core, yet beyond our daily reach
Until we turn inward the wayward soul
And break the shell of our hearts
Hardened by the march of forgetfulness through time.
Our return from exile is return to that Center,
To our real land of birth.
I live in exile but in joy of being exiled from the world,
For did not the Blessed Prophet utter
'Happy are those who are in exile in this world?'*
Sensing as they do the home to which they belong,
The luminous Orient of all existence is ours,
joyous in the thought of their homecoming.
(Seyyed Hossein Nasr)
'Poems of the Way'
By Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Author)
With this volume of poetry, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, whose name the reader usually associates with the philosopher, the historian and the scientist, firmly establishes his role as a spiritual mentor of the highest rank. In Poems of the Way, the poet describes the spiritual path and invites us to realize what our true transcendent destination really is. Nasr's poetical rendering of the Way uncovers increasingly deeper spiritual secrets of the mystical path. In English and Persian.