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
of Classical Persian Poetry
This is a searchable treasury of 34 of the most important collections
(divan) of classical Persian poetry.
al-Din 'Attar an article by Iraj Bashiri
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.
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.
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.
Mantiq al-tayr and Divan (Collected lyric poetry) of 'Attar, searchable
and in Persian.
a comprehensive website on Rumi and his works, by Dr. Ibrahim Gamard.
This contains links to both translations and Rumi's works in Persian.
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.
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.
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.
Hafiz, searchable and in Persian
Sufi Poets who wrote in Turkish
Sufi Poets who wrote in Arabic
'Umar ibn al-Farid
Muhiy al-Din Ibn al-'Arabi