I am closer to thee than thee


A poem by Yunus Emre


Yunus Emre (pron. like Yoo-nis Amray, meaning: "Jonah Lover") is the famous Turkish 13th-century Sufi/mystical poet.

The following poem is considered one of his best. This updates the translation given toward the end of The Station of No Station (2001), pp. 208-9.



O King of Eternity,
I have turned my face to Thee.
With all my shame and all my blame,
I wish to Attain to Thee.

You with these eyes of mine do see,
You are He who speaks through me
íTis You who created me,
From start to end, ítis all Thee.

Dearest Lord, You said to me,
ďI am closer to thee than thee.Ē [1]
Since you are so close to me,
Show Your sublime face to me.

How is it youíre close to me?
I long for and pine after Thee.
Day and night your watch I keep
And blame myself for I cannot see.

íTis He who comes, ítis He who goes.
He is the seer, He the seen.
Lofty and lowly, everything,
Whatever is seen is He, so see!

Yunus, this is Godís mystery
Expressed it cannot be
íTis a pleasure to experience
Mind and comprehension all at sea.


[1]2:186, 50:16.

Click here for Turkish version.