Life and Death: Two Poems of Yunus Emre

Peace, one and all…

Poem One

‘The Truth fills the world,
but to whom is Truth known?
You ask so much of It,
but It isn’t separate from yourself.

You believe in the world,
you claim your daily bread as your own.
How long will you keep up your lie?
You know it’s not like that.

It’s a long way to the other world.
Be honest with yourself
through all the spearation and painful yearning.
Those who attain do not return.

Those who come to the world will
one by one drink the juice of death.
This world is just a bridge
although the young wouldn’t guess it.

Come, let’s get to know each other
and make our work easier.
Let’s love, let’s be loved.
No one inherits this world.

Yunus, if you can understand,
if you can hear the meaning,
find a little happiness.
No one’s here forever’.

Poem Two

‘If you need to be warned, come, look at these graves.
Even a stone would soften after seeing them.

And those with great riches, see to what end they came,
wrapped in simple cloth, a shirt without sleeves.

Where are those who used to say, “These riches are mine,”
who weren’t satisfied merely with a fine house.

Now they’re covered with stone.

They never were at home in God’s house.
They neglected the rules, the worship.
They never learned to serve.  Now their time is passed.

Here are those who talked so well,
those with sun-tanned faces.
They have died and disappeared.

Once these were the bosses many worked for.
Come and tell me now – which is which?

There’s neither a door to enter nor food to eat.
There’s no light to see.  Daylight is now darkness.

Yunus, all you call your own you’ll leave behind.
Your possessions will abandon you.


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