The Terci-Bend Form

The al Mavlavi compilation of the Dîvân-i Kebir

contains 37 terci-bends.

The terci-bend is a didactic poem. It has the same stylistic features of the ghazal, but each couplet is followed by a couplet with its own separate rhyme scheme. This is a much longer form, and the couplets are divided into stanzas of five to ten couplets each. One couplet is repeated at the end of each stanza, and each stanza “bends back” to express the theme of the first section in a different way.

Terci-Bend Poem 76

Dîvân-i Kebir Volume 9, Pages 116-121

 Even if your heart becomes tired and frustrated,

there is no way to get out of this journey.

Relax. Don’t shake your head from left to right.

Get going. Quit being lazy.

Otherwise, they will drag you along.

There is a guard on every corner.

There are envoys everywhere.

You are not in your real home.

Where are you?

Your thoughts are in the hands of ogres.

They cast spells on the eyes of the people

to prevent them from differentiating high from low.

But, there are other magicians who bewitch the magicians.

They control the hearts of others.

Don’t look around with confused eyes.

Pay attention to the Essence,

so that at the time of your death, you won’t be without it.

Read the verse,

“We who have sent down Remembrance”1

and be grateful,

because the Sun has come down to the Earth from on high.

It is not the Sun which burns your face.

It is not the Sun which sets at night.

Don’t yell so much,

because the Beloved is near, close,

so close that it can be said, “He is inside of you.”

Even God has been concealed, but still appears.

There are miracles. There are solid witnesses of that.

“Man is ever hasty,”2 He said.

But, don’t be hasty. Be patient.

Oh God, scatter patience on us.

Don’t make our feet slip on the surface of this Earth.3

Mention the next terci.

Close the door.

Don’t leave room for reproach.


O, One who has given up

conditional and unconditional situations

 and has gone to the Tavern,

“There are brave ones inside.”4

O, One who has seen God’s face,

this world resembles a mole on His face.

A mole becomes beautiful when it’s found on such a face.

If you don’t see this, rub your eyes.

If you do rub your eyes,

you will see a new beauty and maturity

on what you once considered to be every ugly one.

Before you see the Essence of the face of greatness,

you will see many beauties which remind you of Him.

His beauty attracts people

He holds the soul by its ear and drags it to Himself.

You recognize the ground of the Beloved’s surroundings

by its smell.

That dirt is better than pure, clear water.

Look at that pure, clear water.

Watch the reflection of the Sun and Moon there.

When I hear His sweet voice,

the sound of my talking increases my disgust.

Hold onto His shirt. I mean, embrace His troubles,

So that hundreds of wings will grow on you.

It isn’t worth it to give your head to the headache that is this Earth.

Think about that and give up gossip and stories.

His troubles give dreaminess to your head and make you drunk.

There is magic behind that drunkenness.

Stay awake all night for that Moon.

Don’t do anything except pray and worship.

Close the door.

The time for the next terci has come.

Start a new stanza.

Be endless. Be limitless like His beauty.


The others have left for their homes.

You and I are the ones who have stayed

with the Love which goes on through eternity.

Whoever is lost in Him does a fast inside of fasting,

makes namaz5 inside of namaz.

Only the sober ones talk about His secrets.

For the man who is annihilated,

there are no secrets in Nothingness.

O, One who entreats no one,

don’t take the chain from our neck.

The craziness which You have given us is so nice.

The Sultan’s necklaces are nothing compared to this chain.

Lovers don’t need necklaces.

Offer Hizir’s6 Water of Life

to the rose and thorn at the same time.

Make instigations and peace-keeping

the definition of charming behaviors.

Accept the supplication

of the one who puts his head on Your ground –

whether he does so in sincerity or as a pretense.

No matter what happens to me,

You burn and melt me in the spring of beauty.

Either make or wreck lovers.

As long as Your beauty is within Your desire,

that is enough.

You write the word admissible or non-admissible

on their foreheads.

Whenever you want,

ou break lovers like the string of a harp.

Or, You make Your hand into a ney and play for them.

Whenever You want,

You make lovers as worthless as a pile of dirt or a simple stone.

Or, You make them as valuable as a pearl.

In the end, O Mahmud,7

Your favor, Your kindness are the best.

All souls are Ayaz8 for You.

The soul became free after becoming Your slave.

You are the master of reason.



Who are we when we say, “I am me?”

When will our copper be transformed through alchemy?

Night has passed.

For what good is night

except to be destroyed by sunlight?

What is the depth of winter and extreme cold

in front of Your July?

This July is like cold winter

compared to the July of Your sunny face.

This hope, this fear is like a purse-maker

in Your store of longing.

The star of Suha9 has been doing the prostrating of Sehiv10

at Your great namaz of maturity.

O Soul of morning, You cut the neck of sleep.

There is no need for You to learn about the morning.

Your hand turned the big dragon into a staff.

You also changed our Love into an unimposing, pure shape.

I thank God that even despite my strange color,

I have merged with the Sea of Kindness and Superiority.

I swim in that Sea.

I raise my hands for prayer and give thanks,

because I have seen immortality in that Sea of Purity.

You are like a soul which has no place, no house.

I am searching for You

like a crazy person who keeps looking from place to place.


Life was ending day by day without You.

At last, it reached the One like You

who adds Soul to souls and is saved from mortality.

You have goodness with no limit to Your favors.

You give Love and ecstasy to every creature.

It is only natural that I am out of my self.

Look and see.

My terci is greeting you, asking,

“How are you? Am I giving you a headache?”

1 …Remembrance  Quran XV, 9.

2 …hasty  Quran XVII, 11.

3 …Earth  Quran II, 520.

4 …inside  Quran IX, 108.

5 namaz  In the Islamic tradition, ritual praying.

6 Hizir  A legendary Godsend who attained immortality by drinking from the Water of Live and comes to aid in a critical moment (also known as Khidr).

7 Mahmud  Sultan of Shazni (d.1030 C.E.) known for his love of his slave, Ayaz, which inspired love poetry.

8 Ayaz  The slave known for his feudalistic loyalty to Sultan Mahmud.

Suha  A sta in the Ursa Major constellation.

10 Sehiv  Two more acts of prostrating one’s self if a mistake is made during namaz [Islamic ritual praying].