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

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  3,435 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Sacred poetry from twelve mystics and saints, rendered brilliantly by Daniel Ladinsky, beloved interpreter of verses by the fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafiz

In this luminous collection, Daniel Ladinskybest known for his gifted and bestselling interpretations of the great Sufi poet Hafizbrings together the timeless work of twelve of the world's finest spiritual write
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 24th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published April 30th 2002)
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 ·  3,435 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Julie G
Nov 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wax-poetic
I was in a Costco, about five years ago, when I ran into a former spiritual teacher of mine and she mentioned that she was offering “study intensives” of the mystic poets. She squeezed my arm playfully (this was before we stopped touching other people), and said, “I'd love for you to join us, Julie, but I know you're a writer, and I want to make it clear that this isn't literary analysis.” We both had a little laugh about that.

To be honest, I wasn't sure how I was going to respond to the “mystic
Jennifer Kristin Taheri
May 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 15, 2020 rated it did not like it

What editor allows this man to publish his own poetry as though it was a translation of a famous poet whose language the author does not even know?
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I like to read this book in the morning, before I start my day. It's so inspiring.

That is all.

Jul 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
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
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Tandava Graham
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
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
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this is one of my new all-time favorite books. . .one i'll keep handy and return to again and again. ...more
Katharine Rees
I read sections of this for my world lit class and absolutely loved it, but I doubt I’ll have time to finish it before my rented copy is due back. Hope to come back to this when I have more time.
Q (offline until early October)
I love wildman Hafiz ‘s poems and admire Daniel Ladinsky’s translation of them. They are full of life.

Coleman Barks’ translations of Beloved Rumi’s work have touched me deeply. I

still have a lovely old tape of Robert Bly reading the ecstatic poems of Kabir that is a dear possession.

Had read Rabia too.

So this collection of east and west, touching the Divine and spending time with those with such loving hearts piqued my curiosity when it came out. And it was blessing to read.
Jun 26, 2007 added it
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... ...more
Claire Hoipkemier
Jun 29, 2009 rated it liked it
came to me burried under the st. francis statue at the grotto.
Jonathan Bluey
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Keep finding this again and again so alive and warm and terrifying to see God in so many different ages perspectives and cultures
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Lovely. Hopeful. I've read them slowly over the last year and given the book away four different times. I think this is a book that all my friends should own. ...more
Aaron West
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
There are two sides to every book. This collected work of poems is no exception. Gathering together texts from twelve religious figures from several religions, this collection encompasses a vast array of beliefs and views of God in an almost universalist--and at times--overly artsy manner.

What I appreciated: several of these poems allowed me to view God in more diverse and real ways than I have before. Some are simple and profound; some are seemingly more short stories than poems. But they all
Rosemary Clark
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An enchanting assortment of three hundred verses and meditations comprise this work, offering the reader a lyrical excursion through the realm of sacred poetry. Free of doctrine and infused with inspiration, the collection profiles the writings of twelve mystics and saints from both eastern and western spiritual traditions.
Each chapter introduces one of the original authors with a synopsis of his or her life along with author Ladinsky’s insights on the distinctive shades of metaphysical feeling
Ms. Kat
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Daniel Ladinsky's carefully curated collection of translated poetry Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West will make you fall in love with God --- or at least give you a glimpse into the minds and hearts of mystics and saints. The strength of this collection is that it draws from both male and female writers from the Hindu, Muslim and Christian/Catholic traditions. From St. Thomas de Aquinas to Hafiz to St. Teresa de Avila to Rumi, this sacred poetry welcomes us to brea ...more
This book appeared on the doorstep at our Michigan home one day in a package addressed to me, which I had not ordered. I still haven't figured out who sent me the book, but I am forever thankful.

It's a gorgeous compilation of spiritual poetry by both Eastern and Western poets, mostly written to or about God in many of their / her / his forms. There were some more well-known favorites: Rumi, Hafiz, Khalil Gibran, St. Francis, and some that I was delighted to learn about: Kabir, Tukaram, Rabia and
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Rabia - pg. 9 "The sky gave me its heart because it knew mine was not large enough to care for the earth the way it did. .... the cure for me was His Beauty, the remedy - for me was to love."

pg. 48 "Such love does the sky now pour, that whenever I stand in a field, I have to wring out the light when I get home."

St. Francis of Assisi - pg. 52 "It is easy to love God in all that was beautiful. The lessons of deeper knowledge, though, instructed me to embrace God in all things."

Meister Eckhart - p
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
The editorial voice bled through each of the very different authors in a way that made the poems less impactful. Ladinsky’s frequently obvious omissions and additions turned what were likely beautiful, intimate insights into and encounters with the divine into unspecific, New Age-y, spiritual nonsense. The structure of the poems is lovely, but if you’re looking for any real depth or insight into the heart of God for his creation, I’d definitely recommend reading Ladinsky’s source material first.
Anna Shiverdecker
May 30, 2022 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. Of course with something like this, you're bound to get hits and misses. I think there were some really good ones but there were some utterly vulgar ones and one that felt wrong. I wish the poems had been more faithfully translated. It at least had the authors interpretation along side the original. It felt a bit self serving and edited through the authors lens and I'm not sure I liked the color of his lenses, so to speak. Overall, I still enjoyed it. But it's definitely not for every ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This has been and still is my go to book when I need a thought or poem to lift my spirit. There are several poems that I reread frequently and others that I read when I am searching. I’ve gifted friends with this book over the years and I’m certain I will continue to do so. There are many religious traditions included in this compilation of poetry, some of which I wasn’t familiar with and that have now become old friends.
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
Usually I give poetry collections which some called out to me and some didn’t 3 stars, but in this collection I only liked three of the poets, and the ones that fell flat REALLY fell flat.

I mean, some were just straight up crude. That might be some people’s thing, but it really isn’t mine when it comes to spirit. I appreciate that this gave me a taster of some other poets though and I will definitely be picking up more Rabai, St Francis and Hafiz.
Sara Elizabeth
Feb 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I started this collection thinking it would just be cool and interesting to read modern versions of poetry supposedly inspired by those having communicated with God or with some higher power, and boy, it went beyond expectations. Daniel, thank you. Thank you for the divine (literally), beautiful collection. I am excited to read the others you have curated. This collection made me feel things in places of my heart that I’ve been missing.❤️🔮
Jun 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This is a carefully crafted collection of poetry from mystics describing the ineffable nature of God, the love of God, and relationships with God. Absolutely incredible. Daniel Ladinsky uses 12 mystics of Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism to explore who God is: Rabia, St. Francis of Assisi, Rumi, Meister Eckhart, St. Thomas Aquinas, Hafiz, St. Catherine of Siena, Kabir, Mira, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and Tukaram. Cannot recommend this book enough.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book simultaneously engaged my sense of humor, my soul, and my curiosity about each poet. Although I am not aligned with most of their spiritual ideologies, the poems lifted my spirit up and helped me to feel more connected to the spiritual world. I enjoyed it very much and read a few poems each evening.
Kelley Blair
Mar 26, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a heavy book of poetry. Each poem packs a pound of words. It is broken down into 12 sections from influential voices from the East and West. My favorite section was Mira. In reading her brief history and then her poems they resounded with me instantly. A woman who held women’s rights in high regard. I did find some of the poems hard to fully understand.
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