The following are selections of the poetry of Yunus Emre, adapted from the translations of Grace Martin Smith.
sensüz yola girürisem çarem yok adım atmağa
Were I to set out without You, I could not take a step. You are the strength in my body to raise my head and walk.
My heart, my soul, my mind, my knowledge, are firm because of You. The wing of one’s soul must be spread, flying to go to the Beloved.
The one who passes beyond the self, the Beloved makes a hawk. He looses him on the ducks and partridges, driving and reaching them, to catch them.
God gave the man of love the strength of a thousand Hamzas. He removes boulders from his way, intending to go to the Beloved.
A hundred thousand Ferhâds, taking their picks, dig away at the base of the mountains. Breaking up the boulders, he makes a road to let the Water of Life flow.
Shall I call him a lover who loves God’s Paradise? Paradise itself is a trap to catch the souls of the foolish.
The lover is wretched; he submits to the path of God. Whatever you say he accepts; it is impossible to hurt his feelings.
We knew that those who came passed on; we saw that those who settled down passed on. Souls who have drunk the wine of love do not accord with passing or settling.
Yunus’ soul was not trapped; it passed beyond hell and heaven. He has set out to go to the Beloved, to sink into His essence.
‘ışqdan davî kılan kişi hîç anmaya hırs u hevâ
He who makes claims of love will never think of greed or desire. Those who enter the house of love will no longer [have] either affection or faithfulness.
Glory and high office, all of these [indicate] love of the world. [If they were to ask me, I would say,] “You give my answer: My honor is the price [I will give] for love.”
Those who speak of love with their tongue do not know what love is. Whoever loves the world’s glory should not speak of love.
Whoever has not gone beyond glory and honor, [to say that he has attained] the state of being a lover is a false accusation. Horses, mules, and camels cannot pass to the lover’s bed.
Saying “Yûnus is a lover,” beware [of imitating him]; do not strive to come [on his path, since] many merchants upon setting out on the long road [later] regret it.