I am enamored of this book for within a few pages, my eyes can see these poems are alive. Rumi, the 13th century Sufi master, has found his modern vocal through poet Coleman Barks - I can't read the original language but from those translations I found the poems to be poignant, vital and awakening. This book is divided into 22 chapters of ecstatic readings with Mr. Barks commentaries preluding each section initiating a discourse where a diverse of poems are included. In the discussion of "Sohbet", regarding the retreats where poets dwell and the jobs that poets do, Emily Dickinson's celestial lines are quoted:
Of visitors, the fairest.
For occupations, this:
The spreading wide my narrow hands
To gather paradise. (11)"
The Lord of poems is no mystic to those who've experienced epiphany. His words have escaped the time and the restrictions of death. Such poems are enlightenments:
Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an ax to the prison wall.
Escape. Walk out
Like someone suddenly born into color.
The speechless full moon comes out now. (33)"
My sister sent me this gift of poetry on my birthday and whatever she wishes to say is well-expressed by this BOOK OF LOVE.