Viilage view from Riva castle.
taken with Pentax K10D, at Istanbul
I am before, I am after
I am before, I am after
The soul for all souls all the way.
I’m the one with a helping hand
Ready for those gone wild, astray.
I made the ground flat where it lies,
On it I had those mountains rise,
I designed the vault of the skies,
For I hold all things in my sway.
To countless lovers I have been
A guide for faith and religion.
I am sacrilege in men’s hearts
Also the true faith and Islam’s way.
I make men love peace and unite;
Putting down the black words on white,
I wrote the four holy books right
I’m the Koran for those who pray.
It’s not Yunus who says all this:
It speaks its own realities:
To doubt this would be blasphemous:
“I’m before-I’m after,” I say.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yunus Emre (1238?–1320?) was a Turkish poet and Sufi mystic. He has exercised immense influence on Turkish literature, from his own day until the present. Because Yunus Emre is, after Ahmet Yesevi and Sultan Veled, one of the first known Turkish poets to have composed works in the spoken Turkish of his own age and region rather than in Persian or Arabic, his diction remains very close to the popular speech of his contemporaries in Central and Western Anatolia. This is also, it should be noted, the language of a number of anonymous folk-poets, folk-songs, fairy tales, riddles (tekerlemeler), and proverbs.
Like the Oghuz language Book of Dede Korkut, an older and anonymous Central Asian epic, the Turkish folklore that inspired Yunus Emre in his occasional use of tekerlemeler as a poetic device had been handed down orally to him and his contemporaries. This strictly oral tradition continued for a long while.
Following the Mongol invasion of Anatolia facilitated by the Seljuk Turkish defeat at the 1243 Karaman, Islamic mystic literature thrived in Anatolia, and Yunus Emre became one of its most distinguished poets. He is one of the first poets known by name to have composed extensively in the Turkish language and his poems—despite being fairly simple on the surface—evidence his skill in describing quite abstruse mystical concepts in a clear way. He remains a popular figure in a number of countries, stretching from Azerbaijan to the Balkans, with seven different and widely dispersed localities disputing the privilege of having his tomb within their boundaries.
His poems, written in the tradition of Anatolian folk poetry, mainly concern divine love as well as human destiny:
Yunus’dürür benim adım
Gün geçtikçe artar odum
İki cihanda maksûdum
Bana seni gerek seni.
Yunus Emre the mystic is my name,
Each passing day fans and rouses my flame,
What I desire in both worlds is the same:
You’re the one I need, you’re the one I crave.
1. ^ Edouard Roditi. “Western and Eastern Themes in the Poetry of Yunus Emre”, Journal of Comparative Poetics, No. 5, The Mystical Dimension in Literature (Spring, 1985), p. 27
2. ^ Cevdet Kudret. Yunus Emre. Ankara: İnkılâp Kitabevi, 2003. ISBN 975-10-2006-9, p. 58
3. ^ Grace Martin Smith. The Poetry of Yūnus Emre, A Turkish Sufi Poet. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993. ISBN 0-520-09781-5, p. 124