The Great Diwan
“The reason which has led me to utter poetry (shiʿr) is that I saw in a dream an angel who brought me a piece of white light, like a fragment of the sun’s light. ‘What is that?’ I asked. ‘It is the Sūrat al-Shuʿarāʾ (the Poets)’ was the reply. I swallowed it, and felt a hair (shaʿra) arising from my chest to my throat, and then into my mouth. It was an animal with a head, a tongue, eyes and lips. It grew out of my mouth until its head struck the two horizons, the East and the West. After that, it contracted and returned into my chest, so I knew that my words would reach the East and the West. Then I came back to myself and I uttered poetry without any process of reflection or thought. Since that time, this inspiration has never ceased; and it is because of this sublime contemplation that I have collected together all the poems that I can remember in this Dīwān. But there is much more that I have forgotten! Everything that this collection contains is thus, praise be to God, nothing other than [the fruit of] a divine projection, a holy, spiritual inspiration, and a splendid, celestial heritage.”
I have a love that has the name
of all who have a name
That is what I allude to
in [both] clear and obscure [speech]
by referring to Rubab
to Hind and to Salma, I mean
only Him, so consider Him
for He is the name that is named.
And the one who does not know what I am saying
is blind to the way of Truth/God.