Kul Himmet was a 16th century Turkish Sufi and poet, one of the great Alevi lyricists, but almost nothing is known about his life. He is said to have been a mureed of Pir Sultan Abdal. When his master was hanged by the authorities, he went into hiding, and his own date and place of death seem to be unknown.
I made my intellect a friend to me
But my heart wouldn’t accept the advice he gave;
The heart has a big sack it carries with it
When I stuffed the world in, it didn’t fill it.
We are obliged to accept another’s greeting–
This pen made of luminosity said: Write!
It is the Beloved who created this flower’s light
and whoever smells it finds all existence in it.
Don’t wander like a vagabond, serve a spiritual master–
Keep your eyes ever on the path you’re on.
Do not set your wares before unworthy ones;
These are no ordinary goods and you’re no seller.
Youth is like the summer, old age like the winter;
Still, in my heart fresh sorrows enter;
So bow your head and serve the Master
You’ll never reach the goal with the devil’s manner.
Kul Himmet has a bouquet of roses in his hand;
He keeps the name of the Beloved ever on his tongue;
I am in love with a beauty on the path to that One–
My soul’s imagination is her throne.
Translation by Jennifer Ferraro and Latif Bolat