The One Who Sees This World Is You

The One Who Sees This World Is You

by Aşık Veysel (Turkish original – Sivas, Turkey)
by David Selim Sayers and Evrim Emir-Sayers (English translation – Paris, France)

THIS translation is of the poem “Bu Âlemi Gören Sensin” by the Alevi folk poet and bard Aşık Veysel (1894-1973).1 You can hear it performed by Aşık Veysel himself at this link.

The one who sees this world is you
Nothing veils that eye of yours
The one who spares the cruel is you
How is this no fault of yours?

The universe is what you bear
You made it all out of thin air
And then you cast me out all bare
Where is that largesse of yours?

Are you groom or cavalier?
Are you one without a peer?
Are you the light in heaven’s sphere?
The flash of lightning too is yours

The despot monk, his church to run
Declared that Jesus is God’s son
To Mother Mary, wha’ve you done?
What business was that, pray, of yours?

Who’re you scared of that you hide?
You’ve been sought out, you’ve been spied
Show your face, cast off your pride
The light conceals that face of yours

One shape you have, a thousand names
No son, no daughter, kin to claim
Every color suits your frame
Wherever I turn, that is yours

Many myriad tongues you have
Many awkward states you have
Oh how dark, the ways you have
Where’s that Sırat bridge2 of yours?

You cast Adam out exposed
Heaven’s gates, he found them closed
So why not the devil roast?
What’s it for, that hell of yours?

Your reason, Veysel, will not do
Your tongue, if short or long, fails too
No hand may hold, no eye may view
This mystery, untold, is yours

Also by Aşık Veysel:

1. The word aşık (Arabic for “lover”) denotes a wandering bard inspired by mystical love.
2. According to various religious traditions including Zoroastrianism and Islam, this is a bridge over hell, thinner than a strand of hair and sharper than a sword, that every human must cross on judgement day to make it into heaven.