The Nut Garden

By Yosef Gikatilla Yosef Gikatilla

Translated By Peter Cole Read the translator's notes

The Nut Garden holds things felt and thought
and feeling for thought is always a palace—

Sinai with flames of fire about it,
burning though never by fire devoured.

On all four sides surrounded so—
entrance is barred to pretenders forever.

For one who learns to be wise, however,
its doors are open toward the East:

he reaches out and takes a nut,
then cracks its shell, and eats...

Source: Poetry (March 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2012


Yosef Gikatilla (1248–c.1325) was a Spanish Kabbalist and student of one of the leading Jewish mystics of the day, Avraham Abulafia, who was the founder of prophetic Kabbalah.

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Religion, Judaism, The Spiritual

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.