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The Calling: Tahirih of Persia and Her American Contemporaries
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Selected Poems by Qurratu'l-'Ayn

Edited and translated by Amin Banani with Jascha Kessler

Your Brilliant Face

When the burning sun of your face first dawned,
you dazed me by your light at my day's start.

So speak the words: "Am I not your Lord?"
My heartbeat will reply: "Thou art. Thou art."

You asked: "Am I not? I said:"Yes, Thou art."
Then disaster set up camp inside my heart.

Alone I gaze at the moon of your face:
When slain at Karbalá you danced and leapt,

but when you heard them wailing for my death,
you grabbed my things, rushed my side, and wept.

You raised me up high, then tore me to rubble.
So light a spark now - set the trash afire.

I hear angels in ceaseless song: "Sad lovers!
Come join his feast: Eat all that you desire."

Be still, with Táhirih. Will you hold back the sea?
Hear Leviathan roar: "There is no God but Me."