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

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  2,676 ratings  ·  145 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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 ·  2,676 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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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
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.

Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: spirituality
It is always good to have love poems of God in every flavor possible. However, one poem made me wonder… He claims that Rabia Basri says:

Perhaps the name they call God is
not really His, may be
is just an alias.

Well, no Muslim, including Sufi Muslims, would be in such quandary to call God God, that is, Allah. Yes, they do acknowledge God's incomprehensibility but they still know that God is Allah and there is no question about this Allah who is past all understanding.

I wonder, just wonder, if th
Khashayar Mohammadi
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, anthology
I think what bothered me most about this book wasn't really its content but mainly its spacial editing. There was something really unsettling about how the last word of some poems was written


All technical complaints aside, I didn't really enjoy most of the poems. Its a good read for a lazy afternoon but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
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
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.
Tandava Brahmachari
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
Matthew Hunter
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
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
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.
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.
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...
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sharyn Campbell
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sharyn by: Cynthia Schmitz
I read one summary of each poet, and the accompanying poems, each day. I loved that both male and female poets were represented, from around the world. My favorite was St. Teresa of Avila, although I flagged at least one work from each poet. I borrowed this book, but I think I will buy my own copy.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't read many religious texts nor any poetry which I can't stand to read, but to be enlightened by these poems was wonderful. Anyone from any religion should be able to read these and feel at peace with the world.
Judy Lindow
Sep 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
The poem, When I Was The Forest, by Meister Eckhart - the poet, Rabia of Basra - and the poem "Where Am I Going" by Rumi: Where am I going on this glorious journey? To your house, of course. Already enjoying this book every time I open it!
Robert Eugene
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simply extraordinary. The translator brings these poems to life, great selection great balance of East and West. And who know that crusty old theologian Thomas Aquinas had the heart of a poet? I have been reading and rereading these for years.
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