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