The Brimming Sea

by qisasukhra

A translation of the opening poem of Ibn Arabi’s Diwan, which has already appeared on Youssef Rakha’s site, here, with a link there to the Arabic.



The Brimming Sea


Then the secret was there in my heart

and I was gone and my star set away

my heart by my lord’s secret changed and I

absented from the body’s feeling frame

wherefrom therewith I came

upon a ship of my high resolution

my fortress thoughts therein disposed

through a dark gulf of what I knew



and on my ship my longing blew

as winds, and so it passed

an arrow’s passage through the sea

and across that sea Approach I cut

till I perceived unsecret what

was without name. You!


I said, by my heart seen!

I loose an arrow at your love

for you are dear to me

and you are my festivity

the end of all my passion and my prize.