Attar : I seek her wherever I am

This poem by the Persian mystic Fariduddin Attar turns upon the well known names of the lovers Layla and Majnun. Their symbolic tale of love is recounted by Hazrat Inayat Khan in this and in subsequent posts. For more about Attar, see this poem.

A precious soul saw Majnun wrapped up in love’s pain.
He was sitting in the middle of the road,
sifting through dirt.

He said:
“O Majnun,
what are you searching for like this?”

Majnun said:
“It’s Layla,
of course,
I seek.”

He said:
“But where are you going to find Layla
in this dirt?
How can you find a pure pearl
in the dry dirt?”

Majnun said:
“I seek her
wherever I am.

Maybe one day
in one breath
        I’ll find her.”

Translation by Omid Safi

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