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).

Biography

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.

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Poem Categorization

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

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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