Maureen's Reviews > The Essential Rumi

The Essential Rumi by Rumi
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's review
Jun 09, 08

it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry, sufism
Recommended to Maureen by: The Bawa
Recommended for: everyone
Read in January, 1984

Coleman Barks went to Philadelphia to visit The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, a Sri Lankan Muslim sheik. The Bawa told him that his life's work would be translating the poems of Jelalludin Rumi. Barks took The Bawa's advice to heart, and started down the path that would find Barks becoming the truest, most inspired translator of Rumi's work. I have read many different translators' work, and none of them, not even Stephen MItchell, can begin to compare with Barks.

It is impossible to study Sufism and not include a study of Rumi. He is one of the most revered Muslim poets, and with good reason. His work taps into the deepest desire of a human's heart: to be one with the Beloved. Here is a small selection, that was read at a friend's funeral:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

Rumi addresses all of the fundamental dilemmas of everyday life, from falling in love to doing chores with such sensitivity, such brillance, and such an open heart, that even though he was born in 1207, his work remains fresh and new today.
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04/08 marked as: read

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