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Yunus Emre: Sufi Poet in Love

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Yunus Emre: Sufi Poet in Love

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars3.5/5 (3 ratings)
Length: 85 pages1 hour


"God is our professor and love is our academy."
"Let us love, and be loved."
- Yunus Emre

Who is Yunus Emre? Is he one of the wandering hippies of 60's with torn clothing? Or is he a romantic obsessed with love?
He is neither, but at the same time both. Yunus Emre was a thirteenth century dervish from Anatolia. He is obsessed with love, but his love is the love of a true mystic. He did wear torn clothing, a dervish robe, and wandered about in Anatolia. He was but one of the thousands of Sufi dervishes of Islam, but he played an outstanding role in Turkish culture, literature and philosophy. Some writers regard him as the most important poet in Turkish history; his poetry, language and philosophy shaped Turkish culture and still do so.
In this Book overview Yunus Emre's life, and thought, we will examine his legend and then turnto humanist themes in his poetry. I hope that will lead to appreciation of his works; poetry has limitless implications!

I'm Yunus, mystic of sorrow.
Suffering wounds from top to toe,
In the Friend's hands I writhe in woe,
Come see what love has done to me.
Yunus Emre's life has been the subject of enormous research and debate among both Turkish and foreign scholars. This debate has its roots in his popularity among the Anatolian people. Hundreds of villages claim to be his birthplace, many more claim to host his tomb, and different sources place him in different centuries, all dying for the honor of association with this great poet. He likely lived from AD1240-1241 to 1320-21, when he was 82 years old. He almost certainly lived in the Karaman (Larende) area and belonged to a family who emigrated from Horasan to the village of Seyh Haci Ismail . The village is believed to have been founded by the head of Yunus' family Seyh Haci Ismail when they moved to Anatolia with his followers - "cemaat".
The rest of his life - whether he was a wandering dervish or a Seyh of a tekke, his tariqat (or Sufi order), his poetry, and finally his death are all mysteries, with various sources giving various different interpretations. I would take Sabahattin Eyoboglu's approach and try to understand Yunus through legends about his life in Anatolia. As a popular poet, the most important aspects of Yunus' life are not historical details, but how the common people of Anatolia viewed his life. This is revealed very beautifully in legends and poetry; some people even suggest that "Yunus" is actually a school of thought in 13th century Anatolia, not a single person.

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