Sufi Poets and Sufi Poetry

Sufism and the encounters that Sufism facilitates --encounters with God, love, and the deepest aspects of human consciousness-- have evoked feelings in Sufis that have poured out through their ravaged hearts onto their lucid tongues, providing us with some of the most beautiful and profound poetry ever written.

Some of the most prominent of the Sufis who wrote poetry were Rumi, Attar, and Hafez (in Persian), Hallaj and Ibn al-Farid (in Arabic), and Yunus Emre (in Turkish).  Today Sufi poetry continues in both traditional Islamic languages and also with English languages poets such as Coleman Barks and Daniel Ladinsky --whose poetic dances with Rumi and Hafez (respectively) have become well known-- and  Daniel 'Abd al-Hayy Moore (aka Daniel Moore), an American Sufi whose poetic roots draw sustenance from both the poetry of his friends of the "beat generation" such as Allen Ginsburg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti as well as from his ecstatic decades of drinking from the cup of Sufism via its cupbearer, Muhammad Rasulullah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa-sallam).

Sufi Poetry in Translation and the Original Languages

Sufi Poets who wrote in Persian
Collections of Classical Persian Poetry This is a searchable treasury of 34 of the most important collections (divan) of classical Persian poetry.
Attar
  • Farid al-Din 'Attar an article by Iraj Bashiri
  • Introduction to the Conference of the Birds is an article summarizing some of the main teachings of Attar's most famous poetical work, the Mantiq al-tayr.  It includes a few couplets in translation.
  • The ILahi Nama (The Divine Book) is a lesser known but nevertheless important poetical work of 'Attar.  This link contains 'Attar's introduction and two chapters in translation.
  • Memorial of the Saints is a translation of part of a prose work by 'Attar consisting of hagiographies of various early Sufis; translated by the well-known scholar, A. J. Arberry.  This is in PDF format.
  • The Mantiq al-tayr and Divan (Collected lyric poetry) of 'Attar, searchable and in Persian.

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    Rumi

  • Dar al-Masnavi a comprehensive website on Rumi and his works, by Dr. Ibrahim Gamard.  This contains links to both translations and Rumi's works in Persian.
  • Coleman Barks' Website  Coleman, a retired professor of English at the University of Georgia, singlehandedly has practically turned Rumi into a household name in the United States.
  • Masnavi and Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi (fixed July 11, 2006), searchable and in Persian.  The Masnavi was Rumi's massive 6 volume book of didactic poetry and the Divan-e Shams is his collected lyric poetry.

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    Hafez

  • Hafiz-e Shirazi contains numerous translations by Shahriar Shahriari from the lyric poetry of Hafiz as well as a  the Persian texts of the translated poems and a biographical article, among other things.
  • Divan-e Hafiz, searchable and in Persian
  • Sufi Poets who wrote in Turkish

  • Yunus Emre's Poetry
  • Ahmet Yesevi's Poetry

    Sufi Poets who wrote in Arabic

  • Diwan Mansur al-Hallaj
  • Diwan 'Umar ibn al-Farid
  • Diwan Muhiy al-Din Ibn al-'Arabi
     


     

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