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The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry
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The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  66 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Sufism can be seen to have functioned as a positive and healthy reaction to the overly rational activity of the philosophers and theologians. For the Sufis, the road to spiritual knowledge could never be confined to the process of purely intellectual activity, without the direct, immediate experience of the Heart. In this book we are concerned with one art that the Sufis m ...more
Paperback, 155 pages
Published January 1st 1988 by Phanes Press (first published August 1983)
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Jon Stout
Sep 27, 2010 Jon Stout rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Puritans and politicians
Shelves: religion, poetry
This anthology of Sufi poetry shows an imaginative and mystical side of Islam little recognized in current political discussion or in the scientific and philosophical history that I have read. The closest point of familiar contact might be the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, yet this anthology displays a much greater variety of styles. Though the poetry is said to be Persian, the poets are from all corners of the Moslem world, from India to Moorish Spain. The imagery and feeling are beautiful and make ...more
David John
Jun 22, 2012 David John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Lamborn Wilson (AKA 'Hakim Bey, and 'Ontological Anarchy') and Nasrollah Pourjavady carefully selected and translated arguably the very best of Persian mystical verse to exhibit the long spiritual journey of a Sufi dervish in the quest of union with and annihilation in God. Those even faintly acquainted with Middle-Eastern poetry will recognize some of the star names in this volume, which include Ahmad Ghazali, Ahmad Jami, Attar, Hafez, Ibn Arabi, Nezami, Rumi, and Shirazi amongst others. ...more
Aug 07, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vital translations of Sufi poetry, heady like the damnable wog hemp, subtle as twilight, enriching and heart-expanding.
Ivan Granger
Jun 02, 2012 Ivan Granger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, muslim-sufi
One of my favorite collections of the Persian Sufi poets, some you may have heard of and others who may be new to you: Jami, Attar, Hamadani, Iraqi, Hafez, Ibn Arabi, Sanai, and many others. If you like Sufi poetry, this is a book you should have.

My hearing, sight, my tongue and hand: all He.
Then I am not, for all that is, is He.
I think I am, and thought is but a dream.
When I awake, all that remains is He.

- Baba Afzal Kashini

Table of Contents

Leaving this World Behind
The Secre
May 08, 2012 Jason rated it liked it
Recommended to Jason by: Reading stuff by Hakim Bey/Peter Lamborn Wilson in Semiotext(e) SF
This book really tries, and succeeds to a great degree, in conveying the essence of Sufism, and particularly of Sufi poetry. But as nodozejoze recently said to me, "Sufi poetry doesn't do much for me. I think you have to know Persian for it to really strike home." I was also expecting it to be a little more "juicy" since Peter Lamborn Wilson (aka Hakim Bey) is one of the editor/translators.

[T]he first step on the Path is to begin to contemplate the futility of the world of dust, the world in whi
Apr 03, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a good introduction to the Sufi poets. Most readers familiar with Islamic poetry probably know Rumi, but there are many others besides him. This anthology groups poems by topics that speak to our inner emotional selves; "Leaving this World Behind", "The Secret: The First Meeting", "Awakening", "Transcendence and Paradox", et. al.

Note these are translations of the original poems from Persian to English. I can hardly imagine the talent and work required to make an accurate translation, but
Pieter-Jan Beyul
Jul 28, 2011 Pieter-Jan Beyul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-shelf
True Sufi poetry that, just by reading, alters your state of consciousness. It shifts nicely between simple and more complex pieces.
As any good anthology, it's something you'll want to revisit and rediscover time and time again to get back into that mystical bewilderment ( or drunkenness ).
The editors also provided very elucidating commentary on the poems and poets, plus a concise but interesting introduction with a treatment of the context and history of Persian poetry and its marriage with Suf
I thought this book had a good sampling of poetry, but I couldn't stand the italicized font all the poems were in and couldn't grasp quite a few of the poems. It's possible I just don't have the cultural background to understand the references, though.
Feb 07, 2008 Joe marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I've always been interested in Sufism, and I found this book in the bargain section and bought it on a whim. Should be fun and enlightening to read.
Oct 16, 2012 Erika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent overview of Sufi poetry and gives some clues to those who may be less familiar with Islam traditions and imagery. I found it so very helpful.
Sean A.
Apr 04, 2012 Sean A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ranged from two or three to five stars depending on the poem. i'm not even a particularly spiritual person, but some of these at their best really did it for me.
Linda Jaffier
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Apr 21, 2016
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Peter Lamborn Wilson also writes under the pseudonym Hakim Bey.
More about Peter Lamborn Wilson...

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