Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing” as Want to Read:
Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  1,745 ratings  ·  85 reviews
The Sufi mystic and poet Jalaluddin Rumi is most beloved for his poems expressing the ecstasies and mysteries of love in all its forms—erotic, platonic, divine—and Coleman Barks presents the best of them in this delightful and inspiring collection. Rendered with freshness, intensity, and beauty as Barks alone can do, these startling and rich poems range from the "wholeness...more
Hardcover, 206 pages
Published 2003 by Harper San Francisco
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 Rumi, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rumi

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Stephen
I am not sure whom to give credit for this book to, Rumi or Coleman Barks. For the gift of translating it we certainly owe a debt to Barks but for the power and the truth contained we more deeply owe Rumi.

This is not a book of love poems for a sweetheart or a Valentine. This is a book to be given or read only in the cases of deepest and most positive realization that your life is bound up in another; romantic or otherwise. These poems are not about the kind of love which belongs on Hallmark car...more
Judy Croome
The problem with translations is that one never knows how much of what one is reading is the translator’s voice, and how much is the original artist’s voice.

Banks is credited with “popularising” Rumi’s works in America. That’s the essence of the difficulty I had with this translation. To “translate” a work, one “expresses the sense of (a word, book etc) in another language”, while to “popularise” a work is to “present a specialised subject in a popular or readily understandable form”.

In his no...more
Taymara Jagmohan
Now now, this book really did teach me a lot.
How can you not love when the love that you're seeking is just in your soul? How can you not understand that love mesmerizes us and dazzles us to such an extent that we have no other option but to add more to it?
Love is and love will be.
You cannot force nor can you augment, you can only allow your soul to evaporate within the teachings of it.
It may seem like no necessity, but it grovels to a stand-point.
It makes you feel found; but also lost.
It render...more
Jonathanstray Stray
The man wrote 800 years ago in a radically different language and culture, and every word comes through.
joycesu
To be perfectly honest, I thought Rumi's Book of Love was a little overrated. Perhaps it was just my translation, but I thought a lot of the poems alluded to obscure cultural (and obviously religious) themes, which makes it extremely curious to me why he is so popularly quoted in modern America. Anyway, there were a few shreds of lightness that I did capture and like, which made up for the parables that were not absorbed... and of course, those are the most quotable. Somehow this bothers me; it...more
A.
Ramadan started, so I have to store it in the unfinished shelf

August 10, 2010

came back to finish it :)

what amazes me the most is Rumi's ability to love.

and I don't think one can find (in a lifetime) many people with such positive vision and endless energy.

and I kept wondering through out the book if Rumi ever met anyone he hated or if those he loved actually deserved all that love...did Rumi ever felt cheated on or experienced jealousy?

it's truly wonderful to contain all that love, but was Rumi...more
Ruhat alp
Rumi says: "Sometimes angels envy our cleanliness and sometimes the devils run away from our evil." He also says in the Mesnevi: "Since there are many devils who have the face of Adam, it is not well to give your hand to every hand. "

Considering man's habits and attributes, Rumi says in one of his poems: "They have made this physical form and appearance of man by bringing together many opposite attributes. They have drawn this form in the workshop of sorrows. They have kneaded his day with sadne...more
Babis
The one star goes to the translator. His translation is really bad. It is actually not a translation but a silly adaptation of Rumi's poems. In between the poems you have to survive the "philosophical" comments of the wise translator.
Huda AbuKhoti
I wanted to read this book after many references made by Khaled Hosseini to Rumi and Forough Farrokhzad.

As a Muslim this is entirely new to me.
New to me in the aspect that I felt like I was reading a book that is more related to Zen more so than Islam; that is why I carried on reading the poetry from that aspect.

It wasn't a religious book for me but more of spiritual and fictitious, that was the only way that let me enjoy it and finish it.

Having said that I loved a lot of the poetry, didn't ge...more
Tom Emanuel
Rather than attempt to review the wonder that is Coleman Barks's sterling re-interpretations of Rumi's staggeringly beautiful mystic poetry, I'm going to simply extract four lines that have been blowing my mind pretty consistently in recent days:

"Why did you stop praising?"
"Because I've never heard anything back."
"This longing you express
is the return message." (from "Love Dogs," p. 146)

...and there it is. My mind is blown. As it was by almost every freaking poem in this collection. Let the prai...more
Divya
I didn't read it end to end, but then again, it's not a novel. That said, some poems in this collection are absolutely exquisite. Among my favourites,

"Excuse my wandering.
How can one be orderly with this?
It's like counting leaves in a garden

along with the song notes of partridges
and crows. Sometimes organisation
and computation become absurd."

And this one is beautiful too,

"If you love love,
look for yourself."

Keep a copy in your shelf to pick a page randomly once in a while and please yourself.
Lindsay
I flew through this book. For some reason, I am just now learning about Coleman Barks and his interpretations of existing Rumi translations. Very beautiful... And, the intros into each chapter speak of Barks' personality and spiritual journey. He is a real character, blooming from Southern soils (he lives in Georgia). A critique -- some poems appeared more than once...very haphazard, but possibly in the spirit of Rumi.
Lilia Zuhara
This book talks about love. But when you expect kind of love which solely involved feeling, this in not the proper book for you. Rumi talked about love in deeper sight. Love is not only about ecstasy and agony, it's also about the purity of love which also purify your soul. If you really dip yourself into this book, you'll be enlightened at the end. You just can't skim this read.
Irina
Love and connection with your inner self and the human spirit. These poems are humbling and grand in their simplicity and creative imagery. Rumi has wisdom that would benefit many a person. I'm especially find of the poem 'Moses and the Shepherd'.
Nancy McKinley
Rumi: It is what it is. What follows is an excerpt from a piece I wrote on the fantastic poet.

"...His words were simple and earthy. Words that came straight to the point, jutting out at odd angles, all the while meandering along the sandy bank, flowing along with the gentle stream. Words that reflected a quiet beauty; a oneness with nature conveyed in tiny jagged pieces that formed an exquisite mosaic of thought and feeling.

He wrote of love in such a simple and honest way and his words have insp...more
Stefani
if you like poems, i'm sure this is one the best books out there. i adore rumi so much : )
Sara Jane Blackman
The ecstasy and longing, though not what the title implies, take me elsewhere... "Like this."
Nuke
Good for those who still wants to believe that there is indeed enough love in this world. Is there?
Saquib  Mehmood

I cried all night. Such miracle with words: "Last year, I admired the wines. This, I’m wandering inside the red world.
Last year, I gazed at the fire, This year I’m burnt kabob."
The Book of Love  Poems of Ecstasy and Longing by Rumi

And then I cried in the morning: " As everything changes overnight, I praise the breaking of promises. Whatever love wants, it gets, not next year, now!
I swear by the one who never says tomorrow, as the circle of the moon refuses to sell installments of light. It gives all it has.
How do fables conclude, and who will expl...more
Robert Sheppard
PERSIAN MASTERPIECES OF WORLD LITERATURE--RUMI'S "BOOK OF LOVE & SUFI POEMS," OMAR KHAYYAM'S "RUBAIYAT," ATTAR'S "PARLIAMENT OF THE BIRDS," NIZAMI'S "LAYLA & MAJNUN," FIRDUSI'S "SHAHNAMA," POEMS AND GHAZALS OF HAFIZ & GHALIB ---FROM THE WORLD LITERATURE FORUM RECOMMENDED CLASSICS AND MASTERPIECES SERIES VIA GOODREADS—-ROBERT SHEPPARD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


Goethe honored Persian Literature as one of the four great literary traditions of World Literature, or "Weltliteratur" as he named it. I...more
Jackie
Some of these poems really resonated, and in some I found myself completely lost. I have no background in 13th century Sufism, and found it difficult to distinguish between the love Rumi describes for the Friend and the love for another, both of which he speaks of at length. (Also, the nature of his relationship with Shams Tabriz is never really elaborated upon.)

Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable and at times very thought-provoking read.
Lulu Bella
Considering this is a translation from writings 800 years ago, the wisdom & clarity of; love, deep love without boundaries, passion, and discovering that the universe is ours & that we are pure love with human trappings. I've been so incredibly moved by the quotes on their own for years now. The book as a whole holds some of the history of morality of the time, but is a little confusing whether these freedoms are applied to both men and women, when compared to some of my favorite quotes....more
Serpil Kilic
I started reading this book and only read a few pages. I didn't like the translation and the way the translator thought. I really had the feeling that it was more the translators view and not that of Rumi. I read more books of Rumi in the English language and I found their representation of Rumi better.
Bill
I actually found this on the Internet in unencrypted PDF format, but after downloading and starting to read it, I realized it was a pirated copy. In an effort not to further that negative karma in my own life, I've forgotten the URL and also have no desire to pass my pirated copy on to anyone else. That said, I found the illegal copy while searching for one of my favorite lines from Rumi's poetry which I found at Light-Weaver.com, where some of Rumi's poetry is printed on top of some beautiful a...more
Mario Adame
This book is a must read for poetry lovers. Rumi is peaceful in his long poetry lines, but his deepest and enlightenment comes from short poems. I enjoyed the author's breakdown of each chapter, which included well written dialogue before the start of each category.
jess
"All I know of spirit
is this love."

I don't often get into volumes of poetry, but I feel like Lynda Barry made me. I came to this book looking for poetic imagery, and I found it, but I left it feeling so much more overwhelmed and opened to all the happenings of the universe. Reading the love poems out-loud to my sweet wife, and we passed the poems back and forth. "What sort of person says that he or she wants / to be polished and pure, then complains / about being handled roughly?"

"Dance, when y...more
Emir Haziq
a translation of Rumi's work. I dont know if its able to convey the Rumi's idea fully, but its good enough. love while you still can.
Mariam Sayyed
Rumi gets under your skin like no other poet can. He is one of my favorite poets, along with Pablo Neruda and Charles Bukowski.
Sarah Embaby
My Dear God! I was travelling with the speed of light into a parallel universe. I was transmitted to discover the undiscovered to unravel the mysteries of the deepest secrets.

The Scope of his literature dimension is completely phenomenal. Even if it's a translated version; the metaphors is perfectly effective.

The Scope of the Emotional,Spiritual dimension is indulging, luring to the mind. The Pure Simple words had reached out to the depth of the meaning complicity.

BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! It had r...more
Sasha
There were some beautiful lines here and there, but for the most part I found this collection flat.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Kabir Book: Forty-Four of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir
  • I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy
  • Four Major Plays of Chikamatsu
  • Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
  • The Conference of the Birds
  • Jin Ping Mei (the Golden Lotus)
  • The Selected Poems of Tu Fu
  • The Bezels of Wisdom
  • The Enlightened Heart
  • On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho
  • The Tales Of Mother Goose
  • Layla and Majnun: The Classic Love Story of Persian Literature
  • A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry
  • The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus
  • The Way of the Sufi
  • Love: Ten Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • Li Po and Tu Fu: Poems
875661
Profile in Farsi: مولوی

Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persian: مولانا جلال الدین محمد رومی), also known as Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Balḫī (Persian: محمد بلخى) or Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi, but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi , was a 13th century Persian (Tādjīk) poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian. Rumi is a descriptive name meaning "the Roman" since he lived most par...more
More about Rumi...
The Essential Rumi The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems مثنوی معنوی The Love Poems Of Rumi دیوان كلیات شمس تبریزی

Share This Book

“Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it.” 109 likes
“She loved him so much she concealed his name in many phrases, the inner meanings known only to her.” 98 likes
More quotes…