The Essential Rumi
Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of thirteenth-century Sufi Mystic Rumi more ...more
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Only a sleeper considers it real.”
This is a hard book for me to rate. It almost seems impossible, unbearable to only reward it with three stars. Parts of it gently touched my soul, and reading those few lines of pure beauty, almost felt revolutionary. Rumi is mostly known for his love poems, and I can clearly see why. There's a certain hint of unision and belonging in his great visions of love and he strings his words together in such a delicate serenity. I fell in love w ...more
Skin, blood, bone, brain, and soul.
There's no room for lack of trust, or trust.
Nothing in this existence but that existence."
I have deliberately taken over 6 years to read this book. I wanted to savor it like fine wine. This book is an anthology of the theologian, jurist and mystic known as "The Roman" despite being born in Afghanistan and writing mostly in Persian (though he did live in the former Eastern Roman Empire for much of his life). This book is controversially tr ...more
If the universe could speak, this is what it would say.
All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea.
My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile,
I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice? ...more
This is a beautifully put together book of interpretations of translations of some of Rumi's work and offers a good introduction to Rumi's life. Rumi's words appear contemporary, and contain many wonderful thoughts, as well as his share of strange ones. Enlightenment is expressed in these poems.
If you haven't read Rumi, you will not r ...more
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever come ...more
Essential is a good word for the title of this anthology. This collection of Rumi's work is so complete. I usually skip around in poetry anthologies, but here the verses are organized into playful groupings that refer to one another subtlety but completely. I didn't expect to find myself reacting and relating to a Muslim poet from the 13th century the way that I did, but he transcends any barrier that would inhibit the relevance of his words.
Try to find the version with Huston Smith's introduct ...more
On nearly every page a fresh, sometimes startling image seizes the imagination, blowing off the dust of the mind. Here's a typical example:
A reed flute has nine holes
and is a model of human co ...more
In September of 2012, I created a photographic gallery of Rumi quotations and used a few of the quotes from Coleman Bark's book with direct permission from the author - I thought it was so cool that he emailed me back and was gracious about it. This book has been sitting on my nightstand for months. I pick it up in between other books, read a page or two, let it sink and then go back to it a few nigh ...more
It is impossible to study Sufism and not inc ...more
So, my rating's based on the book as it is and the belief that it's real (like you believe a movie's real....)
The danger of reading this sort of poetry (Whitman is another glaring example) is that you can so easily get caught up in the ecstasy of it. You can get drunk on it. And you can believe anything is possible. And you ca ...more
How would Rumi have dealt with technology? I'll tell you one thing--he wouldn't be any madder than I am right now. I just wrote a big, beautiful review of this book and as I scrolled down to check it this laptop decided to send it into cyberspace. But I am back to write it again. Technology and fate be damned!
Some writers are known for their style. Think Marcel Proust. (I read his 3,000 page novel "Remembrance of Things Past.") And Proust was a great stylist but honestly he had nothing to say. T...more
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home."
Coleman Barks was introduced to the poetry of Rumi by Robert Bly....with Bly saying "these poems need to be released from their cages." Since that time Barks has worked with literal translations of Rumi, transforming them into modern poetry. Rumi was a 13th century Persian mystic, as essential to the Muslim world as Shakespeare to the Western world. The poetry is remarkable: mystic ...more
His poetry has influenced Persian literature, but also Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Azerbaijani, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu, as well as the l ...more