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topkapi_istanbul_046925

Sultan Ahmet Camii – Istanbul, Turkey

Never was left unquenched the thirsty intellect,
nor was the hungry soul ever left in neglect,
which travelled by whatever means to those precincts –
Kufa, Matureed, and Nasaf – in light bedecked.

That feast o’er which the rich and poor alike parley,
placed upon the dastarkhan of Osmanlı beys,
spread far and wide, was folded up and trampled on
while its attendants watched and let it fade away.

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“Black River” (نهر الاسود)

osmanli

Example of Ottoman calligraphy

‘Pon the branches of Arabic’s calligraphy
bloom’d the Osmanlı’s fragrant, flow’ry filigree.

The soot-stain’d flowing roots of that great tree
were poured and shaped by the hand of `Alī*.

 

*`alayhi salām