Visions of Love: Sufi Poetry of the Pashtuns
A "coffee table"presentation of poetry and photographs ideal as a gift
Translated by Robert Sampson
This book is a celebration of the poetry which forms the core of the deeply spiritual and expressive oral culture of the Pushtuns. The poetry in this volume is a selection from the work of their most popular poet - Abdur Rahman Baba. The English translator has attempted to free the verse from the constraints of rhyme and metre to communicate its essence.
ContentmentContentment is the satin cloth under my
I appear to be a beggar, but secretly am
king of the whole world.
Rahman Baba was born in 1650 and lived near Peshawar towards the end of the Mughal era. He wrote at a time when the mystical face of Islam, known as Sufism, was dominant in local culture. Like other Sufi poetry, a delicious ambiguity exists in the expression of love for the Divine and the human beloved. Rahman’s vision of love - with its soaring values of equality and tolerance - is a refreshing antidote to the obsession with rank, power and sectarianism that has so come to plague our world.
The poems are accompanied by photographs of modern-day Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan; monochrome in a sepia tint on cream coloured paper, with a photograph on every other page.
Published in 2008,2011
8" x 7.5" [Size]