Before there was a trace of this world of men,
I carried the memory of a lock of your hair,
A stray end gathered within me, though unknown.
Inside that invisible realm,
Your face like the sun longed to be seen,
Until each separate object was finally flung into light.
From the moment of Time’s first-drawn breath,
Love resides in us,
A treasure locked into the heart’s hidden vault;
Before the first seed broke open the rose bed of Being,
An inner lark soared through your meadows,
Heading toward Home.
What can I do but thank you, one hundred times?
Your face illumines the shrine of Hayati’s eyes,
Constantly present and lovely.
'The Soul is Here for Its Own Joy: Sacred Poems from Many Cultures'
By Robert Bly (Editor)
Robert Bly's ground-breaking anthology of spiritual poems, the result of over a decade of personal research, celebrates the ongoing role of the divine in literature. For as long as people have lived together in communities and built enduring cultures, they have sung and written about their relationship with the God or gods they believed in. In the words of the Irish writer Sean O'Faolain, "all good writing in the end is the writer's argument with God."
The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy gathers poems from a wide range of cultures and traditions and divides them into ten parts, each forming a resonant exploration of a specific and timeless spiritual question. Selections include the work of Dante, Dogen, Goethe, Hafez, Juan Ramon Jimenez, Kabir, Lalla, Li Po, Mirabai, Mary Oliver, Owl Woman, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Rumi, in addition to Blake, Dickinson, Donne, Hopkins, Stevens, Yeats, and other important English and American poets. Together these poems form both a celebration and a quest--a kind of pilgrim's progress that embraces all the rich wisdom of East and West, ancient and modern, male and female, spirit and flesh.