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Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West

4.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,411 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Sacred poetry from twelve mystics and saints, rendered brilliantly by Daniel Ladinsky, beloved interpreter of verses by the fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafiz

In this luminous collection, Daniel Ladinskybest known for his gifted and bestselling interpretations of the great Sufi poet Hafizbrings together the timeless work of twelve of the world's finest spiritual write
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 24th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published April 30th 2002)
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Jul 20, 2007 A rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
the absolute best thing about this book is the variety. how each of these mystics can talk along the same lines about God. i love that this isn't the normal white/black view of God. they speak of God who comes to them in the night and cures their loneliness. who nestles them against His breast and loves them. they speak of a God that so many people don't get to experience. the title threw me for a bit...after reading the book, highlighting and filling the margins with my thoughts like mad, i sat ...more
May 17, 2009 Kristin rated it it was amazing
I'm not much of a reader of religious poetry unless you count Rumi or Hafiz. But, my boss gave me this book ages ago, and I was enchanted from the beginning.

Little trinkets from Rumi, Hafiz, Mira, Rabia, and Tukaram. Endless pages are dogeared and marked and starred and highlighted - I've read this book a hundred times.... each time I love it more.

I love this one by Tukaram:

"I think the moon
is pregnant again
hope she won't
sue me
Apr 26, 2014 Sally rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who love God
This beautiful book came my way recently. What a wondrous new opportunity to listen in on these twelve voices in their interactions with God. So far I have been listening to Rabia of Basra (c. 717-801), a much revered Islamic saint who was sold into slavery at a young age and forced live and work in a brothel until she was finally freed at age 50.

It is possible to see traces of this history in many of her writings, which speak of living with beauty and dignity in the midst of the strange places
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Mar 28, 2015 ♥ Ibrahim ♥ rated it liked it
Shelves: spirituality
It is always good to have love poems of God in every flavor possible. However, one poem made me wonder… He claims that Rabia Basri says:

Perhaps the name they call God is
not really His, may be
is just an alias.

Well, no Muslim, including Sufi Muslims, would be in such quandary to call God God, that is, Allah. Yes, they do acknowledge God's incomprehensibility but they still know that God is Allah and there is no question about this Allah who is past all understanding.

I wonder, just wonder, if th
Nov 16, 2012 Megan rated it it was amazing
I like to read this book in the morning, before I start my day. It's so inspiring.

That is all.

Jan 31, 2010 Linda rated it it was amazing
This book is like a wonderful friend. You can curl up in your chair on a rainy day and fall in love over and over.
Matthew Hunter
Dec 10, 2011 Matthew Hunter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Comparative religion, spirituality and mysticism are passions of mine. I find that, in the various traditions of Eastern and Western mysticism, dogmatic differences disappear, leaving an ecstatic, beautiful love for God/spirit, humanity, and non-human animals. These mystics paint a picture of a world filled with compassion and love, a world I hope to be a bit part of making real.

Love Poems from God offers selections of poetry from East and West. Hafiz, St. Teresa of Avila, Kabir, St. Francis of
Jan 29, 2014 Sarrah rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, religion
To enjoy Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, you have to understand that Daniel Ladinsky is interpreting, not translating. The verse itself is enlightening--oh, the ego, the sensuality of these poets!--and transcendent; but Ladinsky is not shy about throwing in a modern metaphor or twenty, and his repetitive use of certain endearments and phrases makes it obvious that we are reading one voice, not twelve. The variety of mystics is fantastic, and it really drives hom ...more
Jun 26, 2007 LB added it
Shelves: poetry
Haven't finished this one yet, but I love what I have read so far. Similar to I Heard God Laughing (they were edited and I think translated by the same guy). Seeing God through the eyes of these mystics fills me with something I can't put to words. It's something like hearing the echo of my own heart. A deep recognition, beyond personal experience (does that make sense?). Oh well, I said it couldn't be put into words. See for yourself...
Keith Madsen
Mar 06, 2015 Keith Madsen rated it liked it
Daniel Ladinsky has written a book of poems, which as best as I can figure are adaptations of the writings of great mystics from various religious traditions. I found quite a few "gold nuggets" in this volume, some of which may find their way into some of my sermons or classes. Many of the mystics included are indeed great voices, who I now want to learn more about. However, I found two drawbacks to this little volume: one was that it was not entirely clear how much of each poem was part of the ...more
Rand Lee
Mar 02, 2016 Rand Lee rated it it was amazing
This book is astonishing. I had some mystical experiences in the fall of 2013, experiences with no explicitly religious content whatsoever; and to read these poems, some dating back to before the 10th Century C.E./A.D., is a glimpse into that world of complete and utter love I woke up to during my visions. Drawn from several very different religious traditions—Sufi Muslim, Catholic, Hindu— the writers, all of them mystics in their traditions, present an utterly unsentimental, often funny, often ...more
Apr 09, 2009 Meghan rated it really liked it
My favorite poem in this book:

"God and I are like two fat people in a tiny boat...we keep bumping into each other and laughing"

This is a fantastic book of people from every walk of life and religion writing about their experiences with a higher power.
Mar 05, 2014 Amber rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful collection of poetry with a wonderful balance not only of voices from the East and West but also female and male voices, which tends to be rare in collections like these. My only complaint is that the compiler, in his forwards to each poet, sensationalizes the 'otherness' of the poets and doesn't quite present the whole picture of the person in question. The resulting effect is the very wrong idea that these specific poets were against institutionalized religion and divorces ...more
Jonathan Bluey
Apr 12, 2016 Jonathan Bluey rated it it was amazing
Keep finding this again and again so alive and warm and terrifying to see God in so many different ages perspectives and cultures
Claire Hoipkemier
Jun 30, 2009 Claire Hoipkemier rated it liked it
came to me burried under the st. francis statue at the grotto.
Sep 12, 2014 Val rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This was a wonderful book of poems, written by a variety of mystics from ancient times, including Hafiz, Rumi, St Francis Of Assisi, Kabir to name just a few. Keep this by your bedside and dip in and out of it these poems are to be indulged in savored over time to be read and reread. I have favourites if I could just even write one to give a taste of whats in this beautiful book:

Could you embrace that?
I said to God,'Let me love you'
And he replied,'Which part?'
'All of you, all of you' I Said.'
Jun 05, 2012 Laurie rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful collection of writings on the love of God from some of the most amazing spiritual figures of all time. It emphasizes certain elements that are frequently lacking in more traditional catechesis, such as the spousal nature of love between God and humanity, the goodness of nature, and the humor of God. I really appreciated it for these reasons. The one caveat I have is that this is certainly not an academic translation. In the introductory writing the translator admits to taking ...more
Tandava Brahmachari
Jan 13, 2013 Tandava Brahmachari rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
It's beautiful to have 12 great mystics from different countries and times all singing together under one roof, as it were. This book is a very enjoyable way to spend time loving God with the saints.

One thing to be aware of, though, is that these are very much Ladinsky's adaptations of the poems, not just translations. So there's a certain sameness to the style of poetry throughout, even though the original authors are so different. On the one hand, this can be a nice allegorical way of remindi
Tracy McCormick
May 02, 2015 Tracy McCormick rated it it was amazing
This has been on my nightstand since June of 2004. I wake up to a poem, and go to sleep with a poem. What I open to, is what I'm meant to hear and reflect upon. I feel truly blessed by the mystics and grateful to Daniel Ladinsky for the gorgeous translations. Hafiz...of my Heart rings true. St. Catherine of Siena, so lovely. Mira, a fierce Goddess. Rumi...since I was Shams in a past life-we have quite the history. ;) <3 A plethora of wisdom in these Sacred Voices. Blessings and thanks! TMc
Presley Abdul
Jul 08, 2014 Presley Abdul rated it it was amazing
An amazing book that could alleviate any pain, anger, sadness, loneliness, and the like. These mystic poets (Rabia of Basra being my favourite) will transfer your heart into a world of unconditional love to God, nature, and humanity. One thing to make note of however is that these poems are Ladinsky's adaptations rather than translations; even though the words might be slightly different, the message is still the same.
Oct 04, 2009 Renaissance rated it it was amazing
An excellent book of mystical poetry from a variety of religious traditions: Islamic, Catholic, Buddhist and others This is a publication not only to be read, but to be reflected on--to savor slowly like fine entrees at a banquet--not to be gulped down. Seeking to better connect with the divine, the mystic poets draw upon imagery from nature, sensuality/sexuality, experiences of enlightenment and intense emotion.

I'm now on my second read (I read very few books twice) and marking inspiring or poi
Oct 20, 2014 Liz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual, own
On first reading, this book combines great biographies of 6 Christian and 4 Eastern mystics, both men and women, along with some of their less known (to me) writings about Love and God and morality. For all the mystics, Love and God are One. Though most of the early poetry was most likely songs since literacy was uncommon, there were also parables and sayings that made me laugh. Here is one of Ladinsky's free translations:

"I know why God comes to this earth as man, in hopes of redeeming that ge
Catherine Rose
Feb 18, 2014 Catherine Rose rated it really liked it
Inspiring thoughts presented in a beautiful, stimulating way. It's a great collection of Eastern and Western writings, but I would also have enjoyed reading some other culture and faiths, as well. Maybe it's a book idea for myself.
Oct 16, 2007 Leela rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ministers, the open-minded religious, those seeking words for a diety they're not ready for
I was taking an intensive class in seminary on Sexuality in Ministry (taught by minister and sexologist Debra Haffner) when a classmate from Cyprus brought this book to the table. It took two years, but I found a copy on a remainder table at a bookstore in Ottawa, Ontario and it has been a favorite of mine ever since. I use it for inspiration, for readings that just fit, for laughter in the face of trouble, and for that special brand of irreverence that is so critical to balanced religious life ...more
Markus Stobbs
Feb 04, 2016 Markus Stobbs rated it it was amazing
This collection of writings by some of the World's greatest mystics, made freshly modern by Ladinsky's translation, is a treasure, the kind of poetry book you keep at hand to read again and again.
Sophfronia Scott
Jan 07, 2015 Sophfronia Scott rated it liked it
While I enjoyed this book and dog-eared many of its pages, it did become apparent that the poems are Daniel Ladinsky's interpretations, not true translations. There was a sameness to the voice in all of the work and I tired of it halfway through. I would read the enticing biographies of each poet but was then disappointed to not feel the personality described in the bio in the work that followed. However this did make me curious to follow up and seek other versions of the work of these poets, es ...more
Nov 03, 2014 jeanie rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book of poetry. It grows my soul in a way that is indescribable. It causes me to fall in love with the Divine over and over again. <3
Jul 16, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Exquisite poetry full of spiritual wisdom and devotion to the Sublime. Never leaves my bedside.
Jul 03, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing
My favorite book! SO many beautiful poems, especially Hafiz and Rumi.
Shannon Meacham
Apr 10, 2015 Shannon Meacham rated it it was amazing
I loved this, still do. I give it away every chance I get. I read it daily.
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“Show me where it hurts, God said, and every cell in my body burst into tears before His tender eyes. He has repaid me though for all my suffering in a way I never wanted: The sun is now in homage to my face, because it knows I have seen God. But that was not His payment. The soul cannot describe His gift. I just spoke about the sun like that because I like beautiful words, and because it is true: Creation is in homage to us.” 1 likes
“My Lord told me a joke. And seeing Him laugh has done more for me than any scripture I will ever read.” 1 likes
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