Published by Threshold Books

Excerpts from
The Drop That Became The Sea
Selected Lyric Poetry of Yunus Emre


Dervishood tells me, you cannot become a dervish
So what can I tell you? You cannot become a dervish.

A dervish needs a wounded heart and eyes full of tears.
He needs to be as easy going as a sheep.
You can’t be a dervish.

He must be without hands when someone hits him.
He must be tongueless when cursed.
A dervish needs to be without any desire.
You can’t be a dervish.

You make a lot of sounds with your tongue, meaningful things.
You get angry about this and that.
You can’t be a dervish.

If it were all right to be angry on this path,
Muhammad himself would have gotten angry.
Because of your anger, you can’t be a dervish.

Unless you find a real path, unless you find a guide,
unless Truth grants you your portion,
you can’t be a dervish.

Therefore, dervish Yunus, come,
dive into the ocean now and then.
Unless you dive in the ocean, you cannot be a dervish.

The drink sent down from Truth,
we drank it, glory be to God.
And we sailed over the Ocean of Power,
glory be to God.

Beyond those hills and oak woods,
beyond those vineyards and gardens,
we passed in health and joy, glory be to God.

We were dry, but we moistened,
We grew wings and became birds,
we married one another and flew,
glory be to God.

To whatever lands we came,
in whatever hearts, in all humanity,
we planted the meanings Taptuk taught us,
glory be to God.

Come here, let’s make peace,
let’s not be strangers to one another.
We have saddled the horse
and trained it, glory be to God.

We became a trickle that grew into a river.
We took flight and dove into the sea,
and then we overflowed, glory be to God.

We came down to the valley for winter,
we did some good and some bad things.
Now it’s spring and we’ll return, glory be to God.

We became servants at Taptuk’s door.
Poor Yunus, raw and tasteless,
finally got cooked, glory be to God.