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

4.54 of 5 stars 4.54  ·  rating details  ·  1,040 ratings  ·  81 reviews
In this transcendent collection, Daniel Ladinsky--best known for his gifted and best-selling translations of the great Sufi poet Hafiz--brings together the timeless work of twelve of the world's finest spiritual writers, six from the East and six from the West. Once again Ladinsky reveals his talent for creating inspiring, profound, and playful versions of classic poems fo...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Penguin Books (first published April 30th 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,503)
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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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
Joy Williams
"Love Poems from God" Review

I'll never forget my first thought when I saw this book on the shelf: "Shouldn't the title be 'Love Poems FOR God'?" However, that was precisely the point of the whole book- since the mystic saints who wrote these poems were directly inspired by divinity, it's perfectly accurate to say that these words came from God, and also that they apply to everyone who reads them.

When I opened up the first pages, I gasped at the words of Rabia: "One day, He did not leave after...more
I like to read this book in the morning, before I start my day. It's so inspiring.

That is all.

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
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...more
Jun 26, 2007 LB added it  ·  review of another edition
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...
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.
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
Claire Hoipkemier
came to me burried under the st. francis statue at the grotto.
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.'...more
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
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...more
Presley Abdul
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.
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
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...more
Catherine Rose
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Saffron Rose
I loved this book.
I really needed to hear what it said at that time.
That God loves all of us passionately and cares about us every step of the way, and wants us to be happy.
I haven't come from a religious background at all so for me this is the first time I have read the poetry or writings of many of these authors. And they all had the ring of truth about them. I hope I get the opportunity to add this on to my collection, and I hope that there will be more from this translator and I hope to r...more
Mrs. Nilsen
I could read this book forever. I've bookmarked my favorites, written and drawn all over the pages, spilled my love and tears into the poems of the text this summer. I think I'll go through them all a second time before the school year starts as this collection brings me peace, questions, and a feeling of connection to the world around me. What a wonderful combination! I highly recommend this collection of poems that share their various voices about what is most important to them about life.
Although these are not direct translations of their originals, the power and insight first expressed by these poets is still very present. Each section holds something thought-provoking and eye-opening about God, ourselves, or the world in general that I think can be seen regardless of the reader's religious background if encountered with an open heart. Divine love is deeply manifested in this work, and I will definitely treasure it for years to come.
David Moll
An incredible collection of non-traditional faith-oriented poetry from the 8th through the 17th centuries. These are masterfully translated from their original tongues and at times can be downright racy in expression of the authors' intense relationships with their higher powers. Spans several religious traditions (although some were considered contrary to or even heretical to the official dogma).
Marvelous rendering of poems from 12 of the world's great poets and mystics....
I am
a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves through,
listen to this

Anna Kendig
The translations of 12 mystic poets from everywhere from Europe to India in this book are lively, compelling, and present a spirituality that invites the reader to a sumptuous feast: words and images literally play with God (or "Gods") and the world in a way that delight. Absolutely worth reading.
"If God would stop telling jokes, I might act serious." Tukaram. This poem and many other poetic gems of twelve different mystics and saints from various eastern and western religious traditions are compiled by Daniel Ladinsky in a very readable compilation.
started reading this book, but due to it being borrowed from a "friend", it was requested to be returned only a few days after I borrowed it, so unfortunately, I was unable to finish.
selfishness is not one of my favorite characteristics in people.
Mary Helene
Feb 03, 2008 Mary Helene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary Helene by: Leanne Smith
Shelves: bestofshelves
I'm reading it slowly. It's amazingly healing. Quite delightful! and profound. Where have these poems been hiding?
Half the poets are Sufi and half are Catholic, 6 of each. They share a wonderful sense of humor and insight into the Love of God.
Sheryl Valentine
This book is fantastic! I am not a fan of poetry, I suppose what I love about this book is it is spiritual poetry and speaks of truth. I want to read all of Daniel Ladinsky's books! This is a book that I will return to again and again!
Daniel Ladinsky is my favorite translator of Hafiz, a 13th century Persian poet who experiences God in an ecstatic and wonderful way that those of us who choose the love of God over the fear of God will find adorable and profound.
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Share This Book

“My Lord told me a joke. And seeing Him laugh has done more for me than any scripture I will ever read.” 1 likes

I said to God, "Let me love you."
And He replied, "Which part?"

"All of you, all of you," I said.

"Dear," God spoke, "you are as a mouse wanting to impregnate
a tiger who is not even in heat. It is a feat way
beyond your courage and strength.
You would run from me
if I removed my

I said to God again,

"Beloved I need to love you—every aspect, every pore."

And this time God said,

"There is a hideous blemish on my body,
though it is such an infinitesimal part of my Being—
could you kiss that if it were revealed?"

"I will try, Lord, I will try."

And then God said,
"That blemish is all the hatred and
cruelty in this
More quotes…