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

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  3,737 ratings  ·  222 reviews
Now in paperback, this is the definitive collection of America′s bestselling poet Rumi′s finest poems of love and lovers. In Coleman Barks′ delightful and wise renderings, these poems will open your heart and soul to the lover inside and out.

′There are lovers content with longing.

I′m not one of them.′

Rumi is best known for his poems expressing the ecstasies and mysteries o
Paperback, 206 pages
Published January 18th 2003 by HarperOne (first published 2002)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  3,737 ratings  ·  222 reviews

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Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Let me tell you an anecdote. Two years ago, on a certain sunny day, I was walking home after my classes. I was missing home but wasn’t sad nor was I feeling any sense of loneliness; I was quite happy that day. I was listening to Thais from Meditation Act II, a composition of Jules Massenet and my mind was quite at peace. The day seemed quite ordinary; nothing spectacular was happening anywhere within my sight. But then, suddenly, out of nowhere, something overwhelming happened to me. I have a ha ...more
The Music We Are

Did you hear that winter’s over?
The basil and the carnations

cannot control their laughter.
The nightingale, back from his wandering,

has been made singing master over
all the birds. The trees reach out

their congratulations. The soul
goes dancing through the king’s doorway.

Anemones blush because the have seen
the rose naked. Spring, the only fair

judge, walks in the courtroom, and
several December thieves steal away.

Last year’s miracles will soon be
forgotten. New creatures whirl in

Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Judy Croome
Mar 10, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jonathanstray Stray
Aug 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The man wrote 800 years ago in a radically different language and culture, and every word comes through.
Oct 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: trash
The rating of one star is for Barks and his appropriation and raping of Mowlavi's masterpiece. Barks has talent, no doubts about that. It admittedly takes lots of skill to turn some of the most eloquent prose, one closest to human nature and its connection with a transcendental reality above it, into a projection of one's own clinical obsession with sex and erotic love. A big pat on the back for editorials who are all in for the cash and feel no remorse in desecrating the beauty of this world, s ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
On my end table forever. To be read every day. Rumi. Everyone needs to read the whole collection of Rumi books.
Richa Kashelkar
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A lot of people have mistakenly considered this to be a book about romantic love, about love between two people. I guess this is why Rumi is the word of God for fanatic lovers and is quoted so extensively. (I was guilty of this too, at one point!)

The book is actually about something else altogether, and something way beyond the scope of worldly emotions and relationships. The call of longing and the ecstasy of union he writes of is all about our search for our Self, or God, whichever you choose.
Huda AbuKhoti
May 30, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Tom Emanuel
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality, poetry
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
May 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Divya Ramesh
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, rumi
You had better run from me.
My words are fire.
In the dream you’re running toward a mirage.
As you run, you’re proud of being the one
who sees the oasis.

[…] This love of spying far-off
satisfactions, this traveling, keeps you

from tasting the real water of where you are,
and who.
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
Rumi gets under your skin like no other poet can. He is one of my favorite poets, along with Pablo Neruda and Charles Bukowski.
Mena Asaad
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m already a fan of Sufism and this book was so good I was literally drowning inside the poems.

“We tremble, thinking we’re about to dissolve into nonexistence, but nonexistence fears even more that it might be given human form.”

“I am so small I can barely be seen, how can this great love be inside me.”

“If anyone asks you to say who you are, say without hesitation, soul within soul, within soul.”

“How is it with this love, I see your world and not you.”
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lilia Zuhara
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
if you like poems, i'm sure this is one the best books out there. i adore rumi so much : )
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
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
Sadia Mansoor
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, spiritual
"Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along."

Since, its not the actual text but the translation, so didn't enjoy one bit of those "translated poems"... The meaning & essence was lost somewhere because of using such heavy language... :/
Rather than enjoying it, I found all of the poems extremely boring -_-
This is the book about divine love..
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Really nice collection of poetry. I couldn't help myself and I just highlighted everthing I could relate to. According to a passage in the book, Rumi's poetry is gay despite it being labeled like that who cares right? Love is love.

One of my favorites is this line:
Things change; nothing wrong with that. What's truly alive is always changing.
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Rumi's poetry and life are mystical and transcendental. I am grateful for stumbling upon this book during a Valentines day apart from my beloved. However, the translator's vignettes at the beginning of each chapter brought me back to the subzero degree lonely day that is right now. Maybe both are connected and need each other but one was delightful and one cost this book two stars;)
Jul 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Good for those who still wants to believe that there is indeed enough love in this world. Is there?
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A third world journey without drinking.
Kritika Gupta
Deep thoughts, relatable. Hard to understand sometimes. Can become boring, so need to switch to other books in between.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm giving the Rumi poems in this book 4 starts and none for the author's useless texts in between and i do believe the author could have chosen more and better peoms

Ps : stop trying to westernize Rumi and his Peoms

To the Author :
Rumi and Shams were queer.
Go fuck yourself.

Pss: i ended up not reading the texts anyway
Ridhika Khanna
Actual Rating: 4.5

It is the first poetry book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Some of the poems were simply outstanding.
Since, it is a translated version; some poems were difficult to follow. As I understand a bit of the Urdu dialect, I wish the poems were also written in the original persion script or the original words be written in English.
It was a delightful experience reading these poems. I look forward to explore more from this genre.

My favorite poems from this book:
1. Five Things
2. You’ve So
Jan 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Really 2.5 stars... I give 3 for Rumi's poetry but deduct points for the translator, who puts far too much of himself in this book. He even includes a phone number to give you a free CD of his. Um, okay? I came here to read enlightening poetry, not to be shelled your products. Ugh.
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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'.
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Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī - also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, Mevlânâ/Mawlānā (مولانا, "our master"), Mevlevî/Mawlawī (مولوی, "my master") and more popularly simply as Rumi - was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian and Sufi mystic who lived in Konya, a city of Ottoman Empire (Today's Turkey). His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's lan ...more

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