I Cannot See

a poem by Fakhr-al-Din Ibrahīm Iraqi

The Dervish

The Dervish

Save love of thee a soul in me I cannot see, I cannot see;
An object for my love save thee I cannot see, I cannot see.
Repose or patience in my mind I cannot find, I cannot find,
While gracious glance or friendship free I cannot see, I cannot see.
Show in thy face some sign of grace, since for the pain wherewith I’m slain
Except thy face a remedy I cannot see, I cannot see.
If thou wouldst see me, speed thy feet, for parted from thy presence sweet,
Continued life on earth for me I cannot see, I cannot see.
O friend, stretch out a hand to save, for I am fallen in a wave
Of which the crest, if crest there be, I cannot see, I cannot see.
With gracious care and kindly air come hither and my state repair;
A better state, apart from thee, I cannot see, I cannot see.
Some pathway to Iraqi teach whereby thy gateway he may reach,
For vagrant so bemused as he I cannot see, I cannot see.

Translated by Sir Denison Ross

In my opinion this is one of the greatest love poems ever written, though I’m thinking it was no earthly love of which he spoke. Iraqi was a dervish.

Born 10 June 1213 in a village near Hamadan in Persia, Fakhr-al-Din Ibrahīm Iraqi was a Persian poet and writer; a Sufi gnostic who is deemed to have reached an exalted station of spiritual realisation within the Sufi tradition. Highly educated not only in theology and literary discipline but by the age of seventeen had learned all the available sciences and had begun to teach others. He died 1289.

I honour him this day, the anniversary of his birthday—and coincidentally mine.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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8 Responses to I Cannot See

  1. Judy says:

    Well what lovely verse to grace his and your birthdays with!! It is funny how long ago the words were written but they sound quite modern…at least in translation.

    A very happy birthday to you and a wonderful weekend to relax and appreciate the passage of another year. The last has certainly been wonderful with all your writing contributions to your readers. We appreciate you , your joy and your creativity….HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      I thank you, Judy, most sincerely. But, of course, I shan’t put my feet and relax. I shall still be working–writing–playing with graphics. I’ve rediscovered my love of psychedelic art, so now it’ll be everywhere. You’ve been warned.


  2. Judy says:

    Oh no!! Duly noted!! All kidding aside, if it looks like the colorful piece displayed with the verse here, it does look lively and fun!! I look forward to seeing more!! Well working on things that turn you on is a kind of relaxation. One I’ve been denied while my computer is being rebuilt. I have nothing to do in the evening now except to binge watch Netflix programs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      I spent 10 years binge-watching everything on YouTube. I caught up on all the sitcoms I’d not seen cos I don’t have TV. And while I enjoyed it, mostly, it was frustrating that I was so debilitated. But, I know your debilitation is more by way of the computer being upgraded, yet I also know there are other reasons. So . . . enjoy the rest while life is giving you this enforced withdrawal. You’ll enjoy it all the more when you return to it. 🙂


  3. Brian Bixby says:

    And a belated happy birthday from this quarter. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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