[O my Lord]

By Rabi'a 717–801 Rabi'a

Translated By Jane Hirshfield

O my Lord,
the stars glitter
and the eyes of men are closed.
Kings have locked their doors
and each lover is alone with his love.

Here, I am alone with You.

Rabi’a, “[O my Lord]” translated by Jane Hirshfield, from Women in Praise of the Sacred (New York: HarperCollins, 1994). Reprinted with the permission of the translator.

Source: Women in Praise of the Sacred (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1994)

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Poet Rabi'a 717–801

POET’S REGION Middle East

Subjects Relationships, Love, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes, Religion, The Spiritual

Poetic Terms Metaphor

Biography

A Muslim saint and Sufi mystic, Rabi’a al-Basri was born around 717 CE in Basra, in present-day Iraq. Enslaved as a young girl, she was eventually freed and pursued a life of prayer. Through her teachings and a number of miracles, she became an important figure in mystical Islam. Rabi’a did not leave any written work behind, so many of the poems attributed to her are of unknown origin. She is believed to have died in her early . . .

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Poems by Rabi'a

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes, Religion, The Spiritual

POET’S REGION Middle East

Poetic Terms Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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