Baba Afzal: Two poems

Very little is known about the Persian poet and philosopher Baba Afzal Kashani (d. ca. 1213 CE).  His writing indicates a disdain for officialdom, which could explain his imprisonment at one point upon false charges of sorcery.  In spite of being unknown to us as a person, his poetry and other writing are still prized; he is said to be one of the greatest artists of the Persian ruba’i form.  Although he was not explicitly ‘Sufi’ in his writing, Sufis will certainly recognise and appreciate his thought.

Four Elements

Within your nature
is every element,
so listen to
some sage advice:

You are demon
and wild beast
and angel
and human—

Whatever you cultivate,
that you will be.

* * *

Find It In You

The Divine Book’s imprint
is nothing but you.

The mirror of the King’s Beauty
is nothing but you.

Not a thing in this world
is outside of you.

Whatever you’re seeking—
you’ll find it in you.

Tr. David and Sabrineh Fideler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.