A General Introductory Lecture

A nightingale flies nearer the roses.
A girl blushes. Pomegranates ripen.

Hallaj will be executed. A man walks
a mountain path, solitary and full of

prayer. Trust grows for nine months,
then a new being appears. Narcissus

at the edge, creekwater washing tree
roots: God is giving a general intro-

ductory lecture. We hear and read it
everywhere, in the field, through the

branches. We’ll never finish studying.
Neither of us has a penny, yet we’re

walking the jewelers’ bazaar seriously
considering making a purchase! Or

shall I say this with other metaphors?
A barn crowded with souls. Quietness

served around a table. Two people talk
along a road that’s paved with words.

— Version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin
“The Glance”
Viking-Penguin, 1999

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