Monday, November 18, 2013

Yunus Emre: Untitled ["A Single Word Can Brighten the Face"]

A single word can brighten the face
of one who knows the value of words.
Ripened in silence, a single word
acquires a great energy for work.

War is cut short by a word,
and a word heals the wounds,
and there’s a word that changes
poison into butter and honey.

Let a word mature inside yourself.
Withhold the unripened thought.
Come and understand the kind of word
that reduces money and riches to dust.

Know when to speak a word
and when not to speak at all.
A single word turns the universe of hell
into eight paradises.

Follow the Way. Don’t be fooled
by what you already know. Be watchful.
Reflect before you speak.
A foolish mouth can brand your soul.

Yunus, say one last thing
about the power of words –
Only the word “I”
divides me from God.

Untitled ["A Single Word Can Brighten the Face"], by Yunus Emre, from The Drop That Became the Sea: Lyric Poems, translated from the Turkish and edited by Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan. © Shambhala, 1999.

Image credit: "Close to Silence: Sacred Geometry Animation," part of a performance artwork by Fawzia Reda (originally black and white).

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