Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry” as Want to Read:
The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  823 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
An anthology of poetry chosen from the world's great religious and literary traditions--the perfect companion to the bestselling Tao Te Ching.

• The Upanishads • The Book of Psalms • Lao-tzu • The Bhagavad Gita • Chuang-tzu • The Odes of Solomon • Seng-ts'an • Han-shan • Li Po • Tu Fu • Layman P'ang • Kukai • Tung-shan • Symeon the New Theologian • Izumi Shikibu • Su Tung-p
ebook, 192 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1989)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Enlightened Heart, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Enlightened Heart

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 28, 2013 Daven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Found this in my son Connor's and my favorite old dusty used book/DVD/CD store, The Frugal Muse in Downers Grove, IL . . . It's a gem. I'll likely be carrying this around in my work backpack, etc. permanently. Beautiful and sacred texts transcending many faiths and sets of beliefs, including both obscure and well-known. For example, St. Francis of Assisi's "Canticle of the Sun" -- wonderful.

This copy was originally a gift in its past life: "Ron, Merry Christmas! -- Angela, '89" Sorry to see that
Ivan Granger
Jun 02, 2012 Ivan Granger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, favorites
This is a compact anthology, but a wonderful collection that includes Li Po, Wu-Men, Rumi, Kabir, Mirabai, Rilke… And the added bonus of Stephen Mitchell’s way with words. One of my personal favorites.
Jun 30, 2013 jay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
"If we attain something, it was there from the beginning of time. If we lose something, it is hiding somewhere near us." - Ryokan

Ancient wisdom for the next time you lose your car keys.
Edward Kidder
Jan 29, 2008 Edward Kidder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always going back to this one. Good for waiting rooms and as an aid to a search for meaning.
Mar 23, 2015 Mckinley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite, poetry
Lovely poetry; a wide variety of pieces covering the divine/sacred from worldwide sources.
John McCreery
Jan 01, 2009 John McCreery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Better than the Bible. This is Jesus' textbook.
Anne Holly
A quick read, and fairly breezy (for some; those who dwell on each poem may take a while). I selected this as a bit of a palette cleanser after finishing a terrific but rather dense book on Egyptian religion/myth. It was a decent choice, since it was something certainly different. Though I cultivate my spirit, I might be too pragmatic for this collection; though I could recognize the value of the poems collected here, not many of them moved me to any great extent. Still, it was a good review of ...more
Dec 16, 2016 Amelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ancient wisdom.....survived the test of time
"This collection celebrates the radiance of the enlightened heart as it shine through the world's cultures and religious traditions. Beginning with selections from the earliest sacred masterpieces -- the Upanishads, the Books of Psalms, and the Bhagavad Gita (in new translations by the editor) -- this extraordinary anthology also contains poems by the Taoist and Buddhist masters; Rumi and other Sufi masters; Christian poets such as Francis of Assisi, Dante, and George Herbert; Blake, Whitman, Em ...more
Oct 22, 2012 Fungud rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen never fails to impress me.
Maybe he takes liberties?? But, it always comes across as very accessible and human.

Only 4 stars because the first half of the book has lead me out of a darkness you ...well, I won't mention here. The second half was lackluster.

Overall, if this means anything, I am 'gifting' this well worn copy to someone who pulled me out of a deep pit of despair. I recommend it. As always, results may vary, but I think he did a wonderful job.

have his translation of the Bha
Nicolas Shump
Jan 12, 2009 Nicolas Shump rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both of these anthologies, The Enlightened Heart and the Enlightened Mind, are edited by the scholar, poet, translator, Stephen Mitchell. For those of you interested in poetic and religious ecumenism, I would highly recommend these two works to you. The first is an anthology of world poetry with mostly religious and mystical themes. The second is a related collection of writings from sacred scriptures from nearly all of the major world religions.
Both works demonstrate how much we all, as world
Aug 23, 2015 GC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are choice poems in here. Blake's "Eternity in an hour"; Whitman's "...It is eternal life... it is happiness."; Chuang-Tzu's "Cutting Up an Ox"; The Bhagavad Gita's "I alone am real, Arjuna..."; Shakespeare's "We are such stuff as dreams are made on..." It goes on. Good collection, and the theme of "the center" as a stand in for "God" or "Enlightenment" is refreshingly plural in this book.
Mary Storm
Sep 24, 2013 Mary Storm rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
This is a wonderful book of sacred poetry. Taken from many traditions, it opens our eyes to the universal longing for the sacred.
Sadly, I read the ebook edition from Amazon. It was so full of misspellings and typos as to drive me mad. The book deserves 5 stars, the ebook edition deserves 1 star.
Jun 25, 2012 Mejix rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first 2/3 of the book were sublime, pure ecstasy. The final 1/3 was not on the same level, it was kind of uneven actually. All in all, it was, I think, the right book at the right time. An unforgettable reading experience.
James Byron
Dec 30, 2009 James Byron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
An Anthology of sacred Poetry with personal all time favorites. The book was gift from a friend that keeps giving every-time I pick it up.
Brandon Peele
Jul 27, 2011 Brandon Peele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first book of poetry I have read and damn was it good. I meditated as I read and experienced divine energy flowing through the words to me.
Jan 10, 2011 Douglas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-years-ago
I picked this up before I went to college because I had loved The Enlightened Mind so much. Not as good.
Oct 31, 2007 Rah~ri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

compilation of
so many beautiful poets.
Can't read just one.
when I pick this book up
my nights fly by.
Sep 08, 2007 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
some of this work is great. some of this work is not so great. it's a good way to get into some good stuff though...
Elizabeth Olson
I culled several new favorites from this slim anthology of sacred poetry from the world's faith traditions and from poets across written history.
Tommy Butler
Loved some of the pieces in this anthology. Others didn't resonate. Still love Mitchell's translation of Tao Te Ching, but Enlightened Heart was a bit less than hoped for.
Michelle Peters
Oct 14, 2013 Michelle Peters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a quest to find poetry to meditate on and memorize....Mitchell's translations are lovely...the odes of Solomon are beautiful and something to consider....
Dave rated it it was amazing
Apr 04, 2013
Feb 27, 2009 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful collection of timeless world poetry from across the ages. Just a relevant now as ever.
Lori rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2012
Christopher rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2017
George Chien
George Chien rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2015
Robert Christensen
Robert Christensen rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2010
Paul Grant
Paul Grant rated it liked it
Jan 03, 2013
Alison rated it really liked it
Mar 30, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women
  • The Kabir Book: Forty-Four of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir
  • The Glance: Songs of Soul-Meeting
  • The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology
  • Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
  • Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania
  • Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems
  • Japanese Death Poems: Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death
  • Earth Prayers: From Around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth
  • Who Dies?
  • No Nature: New and Selected Poems
  • A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry
  • The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin
  • The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain
  • Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
  • گلشن راز
  • The Stormy Search for the Self
  • Poems of the Masters: China's Classic Anthology of T'ang and Sung Dynasty Verse
Stephen Mitchell was educated at Amherst College, the Sorbonne, and Yale University, and de-educated through intensive Zen practice. He is widely known for his ability to make old classics thrillingly new, to step in where many have tried before and to create versions that are definitive for our time. His many books include The Gospel According to Jesus, The Second Book of the Tao, two books of fi ...more
More about Stephen Mitchell...

Share This Book