Sweet Lunacy


Divine Intoxication in Sufi Lore

  Renditions by Vraje Abramian

“Divine Intoxication” is a common theme in Middle Eastern poetry. The “wine” on which the seeker becomes “drunk” is nothing less than the nectar of love. Such “inebriation,” however, often produces unconventional behavior, even hints of madness, marking the lover as one apparently lost to the ordinary world. And so, the poetry written by or about these “drunkards” is often saturated with perennial wisdom, with stark reflections of the truth (in vino veritas), and with a variety of prayerful longing that is found throughout all mystical traditions.

Sweet Lunacy contains works by some of the most well-known mystical Sufi poets from the 11th through the 14th century. But the reader will also meet lesser-known authors here whose messages, both unique and fresh, are equally inspiring.

Vraje Abramian, born in Iran and a native speaker of Farsi, has worked to keep his translations as close to the meaning and cultural flavor of the originals as possible. He has researched “Wise Fools” in various cultures/religions in the Near, and Middle East, Central Asia and India. While anecdotes, folktales and stories about spiritual ecstasy are abundantly present in Sufi literature particularly, no other single work focuses essentially on such profound lunacy and intoxication as this one does.

While the subject matter is rare and refined, the author is clear that every human being nurses within his or her heart a nostalgia, remote and nameless, a longing for something they cannot express. This fine collection is valuable not only for the refinement of poetic content but also for the spiritual guidance of the great mystics whose voices are made available herein. Sweet Lunacy is a must-have for lovers, seekers of truth, and connoisseurs of beauty alike.

  View Bio Vraje Abramian
112 pages
ISBN: 978-1-942493-57-0
paper, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches

Available May 2020