I Wish He Knew

Tell the dear one, who dwells within my heart
That I see him there, even when we do not meet.

That my eyes are attached to the sight of him,
Even when we are far apart.

I wish he knew that I never remember him,
How I can remember someone I can't forget?

And if he claims that I do not recall,
God knows that I never forget him, even for a second.

When he is absent from me, he inhabits my soul
How could the heart forget someone who dwells in the soul?
أبلِغ عَزيزاً في ثنايا القلبِ مَنزله
 أني وإن كُنتُ لا ألقاهُ ألقاهُ
 وإن طرفي موصولٌ برؤيتهِ 
وإن تباعد عَن سُكناي سُكناهُ 
ياليته يعلمُ أني لستُ أذكرهُ 
وكيف اذكرهُ إذ لستُ أنساهُ 
يامَن توهم أني لستُ أذكرهُ 
واللهُ يعلم أني لستُ أنساهُ 
إن غابَ عني فالروحُ مَسكنهُ 
مَن يسكنُ الروح كيف القلبُ ينساه؟

- أبو الطيب المتنبي-

The first block of this post is my interpretation of the Arabic poem (above) attributed to the Arabic poet Al-Mutanabbi. I always find Arabic poetry very skilled in describing the deepest devotion. I call it Love (with a capital L), or love major. This is the stuff of pure love, that is less concerned with possessing the beloved and more with the experience of Love, the pleasure of seeing the beloved, or even just remembering and mentioning him/her.

It is not a coincidence that some of these Love poems are used in references to divine love, mystic, and sufi traditions. Love in these poems is transcendent and spiritual.

While researching the poem, I found a page that contains another English translation of the lyrics. The same page also contains a link to a link to a beautiful rendition of it in an Arabic song, by Faia Younan.

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