Beauty and Love 

Go Out to View  the Pleasure Place of Meaning


Glorious Love was swayed by the weather

The eyes of his passion danced with pleasure


And Beauty’s mood too took a different way

The two resolved on amusement and play


Those two shining candles set out and chose

The Pleasure Place of Meaning for abode


That Pleasure Place where there were to be found

Streams of violet and ambergris ground


That garden of paradise, that laughing earth

Was clay, but the clay of Adam’s own birth


Each young sapling there was a Sidre tree

Each raw plum a heaven of olivine


The flourishing grass was eternal life

Its buds were suns and its dew, stars by night


The rosegarden was a sea of red light

Rubies fit for sultans, pearls of pure light

A hundred Sinais of epiphany

Those hills never heard you shall not see me


Its bright lamps were revelation divine

With Gabriel's wing the meadows were lined


Faith’s lamp of night, nightflowers of the soul

Its autumn rose petals, essence of soul


Its jonquils the wealth of ocean and mine

Its narcissus, souvenir of paradise


The sun was a tree that shed light of dawn

The bird of the spirit there made its home


Each tree leaf there was an archangel’s wing

Like blooms of the pomegranate rose pink


A Kashmiri shawl with rosebuds on green

Was trite likeness for the blooms on that green


The guard at the vineyard gate there was Mars

He tended full moons instead of sunflowers


The apples, the oranges, fruit-bearing trees           

Carnelian and coral red treasuries


The plain of the steppe wase decked out with stars

And diamonds more numerous than dry stone shards


Strewn there in the dirt each fragment of stone

A star guiding lovers faithfully home


The Jesus rose never failing to tend

The flowers there was Mary's cyclamen


So many fresh downy-cheeked beauties there

The plains, steppes, sprung violets everywhere


Like thought’s garden of fantastical things                      

For rosebuds nightingales bloomed with red wings


The Hizir of the grass an emerald sea

Peridot ships, rows of shrubbery

Like pistachio trees with branches hung down

Houris with their eyelashes swept the ground


The lamp of the rose there shining so fine

Burned brilliantly with the oil of red wine


Majnun's willow shook down its curly mane

Till Leyla took up the wild desert's chain

The cypress displayed its lofty physique

Resurrection Day fell down at its feet


The red poppy drunk on lunatic wine

Disdained goblets blown of crystal most fine


The Erguvan tree's fresh young sprouted shoots

Were bearing new fruit of the fire of youth


The vines were like polo sticks set with pearls

That bowed to the ground low like halberdiers


Black grapes, Hindus on the roof standing guard

But these stood watch on the roof of the stars


As everyone knows, the pink and white peach peach      

Is soft as a pretty girl’s lovely cheek


The succulent pear, fragrant, much-preferred

Brought water by hand to cool the orchard


The tulips resplendent waved end to end

Like gardeners with royal red diadems


The plum trees were like luxuriance of fun

Each parrot-fruit chattered there on and on


The apricots, Leyla's ruby red lips

Goblets of red wine were mad for a glimpse


The cherries were earrings set with garnet garnet    

The sight of them brought lovers’ looks surfeit


Each blade of grass was a Kashmiri Spring

Without change of season like a painting

Without like or number, bewitching eyes

Grazed like deer in that violet paradise


Black plums like the spring of life eternal

Or jewels of Ceylon that have no equal


Hyacinths framed the cheek of a wild rose

Carnations for those wild curls served as combs


The falcons there were not trained to the hunt

It was the peacock who tracked the pheasant


The hoopoes like Jam wore crowns on their heads

The fairy troops francolin and partridge


That garden of wild and untended flame

Regarded the sun and moon with disdain


Hearts burning made fireworks burst in the skies

Enlightened hearts winked there like fireflies 

                                        (Beauty and Love, 659-703)


Seyh Galip . Beauty and Love. (trans. by Victoria Rowe Holbrook) New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2005.


Beauty and Love at the Pleasure Place of Meaning
traditional miniature painting
6" x 7 5/8" gouache on paper
by Özgen Felek