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Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship

Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship [Kindle Edition]

Coleman Barks
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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“Coleman Barks is a pioneer and renown scholar on Rumi, the great Sufi. In his elegant and exquisite way, Coleman has made Rumi as popular as Shakespeare to the world and continues to inspire us with the Rumi’s ecstatic poetry.” (Deepak Chopra, author of The Shadow Effect and Jesus)

“Really, what other book would anyone ever need?” (Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Honeybee)

“Coleman Barks found Rumi floating in some Georgia lake and brought him back to life. What a blessing! Rumi says, ‘Some nights stay up until dawn, as the moon sometimes does for the sun.’ Coleman has stayed up all night, and every reader is grateful.” (Robert Bly, National Book Award-winning poet and translator)

“Rumi’s Big Red Book tells us: ‘Compassion builds a door, Restlessness cuts a key.’ I am forever grateful to Coleman Barks, restless, yearning to find the bridge from Rumi and Shams to the world we presently inhabit. He is truly to Be Loved for making this ‘transaction with beauty’…” (Debra Winger, Actress)

“Without question, we can credit Coleman Barks with making Rumi accessible to American readers through his modernized renditions of the best-known poems of the great Islamic mystic.... Richly sensual yet never flowery, Barks’ language emphasizes Rumi’s embodied spirituality in a book to savor.” (Booklist (starred review))

“An emeritus English professor at the University of Georgia, Barks has spent 34 years working on Rumi’s poetry — you could even say that Rumi has been the secret companion musician Barks has danced to.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Barks has become internationally renowned for his translations.... Rumi: The Big Red Book is the culmination of his work.” (Shambhala Sun)

Product Description

“Really, what other book would anyone ever need?” —Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Honeybee

“Elegant and exquisite.” —Deepak Chopra, author of Muhammad, Jesus, and Buddha

The Big Red Book is a poetic masterpiece from Jalaluddin Rumi, the medieval Sufi mystic whom Time magazine calls “the most popular poet in America.” Readers continue to be awed and inspired by Rumi’s masterfully lyrical, deeply expressive poems, collected in volumes such as The Illustrated Rumi, The Soul of Rumi, and the bestselling The Essential Rumi. With The Big Red Book, acclaimed poet and Rumi interpreter Coleman Barks offers a never-before-published translation of a crucial anthology of poems widely considered to be one of Persian literature’s greatest treasures.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Reference: Love 6 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rumi's philosophy is based on love, something sadly lacking in the world. Reading this book reminds us of that, brutally.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not as great as The Essential Rumi 8 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
many of the poems are vague and not as attractive as the poems in the essential Rumi.

however there are some lines that make the whole book worth while

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My "Vademecum" ! 4 July 2012
Although I prefer some other Rumi translations better than Coleman Bark's, this Rumi book is my "vademecum".
I really love it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterwork from Rumi and from Poet Coleman Barks 20 Oct 2010
By David Crumm - Published on
Rumi is widely described as the most popular poet in the English language and that may be true, although no one seems to have definitive data to prove that claim. In any case, there are well over 100 Rumi titles available on Amazon. Here's why this particular volume is worth buying:

Coleman Barks is the noted American poet who has devoted decades of his life to interpreting Rumi's work for modern English-language readers. He's not a scholar of Rumi's own original language, but Barks works with leading scholars and translators to come up with the best translations of the original Rumi texts, then Coleman interprets these verses in poetry that is accurate to the original -- and brings fresh poetic insight to today's readers. Among other things, this massive book is Barks' own selection of what he sees as the best of Rumi's body of work that sometimes is referred to as "The Works of Shams Tabriz." That's right: The actual body of Rumi's work is far larger. Rumi's work also isn't as well organized as this volume -- at least to contemporary eyes. Barks does a whole lot to help us enter this mysterious world full of astonishing lines, images and thoughts.

Who was Shams Tabriz? You'll learn in the book that he is a mysterious figure. He was Rumi's mentor and friend, but far more than that. He was Rumi's gateway really into spiritual and creative transformation. Shams soon vanished. The book's introduction explains theories on what happened to Shams. But Rumi felt a great and lingering grief and longing after Shams disappeared. This led to these epic reflections on the nature of daily life, the universe, our quest to raise our awareness of the world's daily wonders--and the profound nature of friendship.

If you're shopping for Rumi--and thousands do each year--you'd do well to start with this volume. Barks and HarperOne have organized the book as a wonderful introductory work. Barks himself says that no one can claim to be the "definitive" Rumi translator for all time. Such a claim would not make sense. Rumi's work has so many mysteries, so many treasures, that Barks himself says that we need many interpreters. And that means we need to welcome many readers to the great man's work.

Enjoy. You'll find this book a wonderful companion for the year ahead -- and a great gift for a friend, too!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Red 17 Jan 2011
By seeker - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you've ever read Mao's LITTLE RED BOOK, this is totally unlike it! Praise God! or Allah Akbar! It is as different as Ying is to Yang!

Anything Coleman Barks has written is well worth reading! Some critics suggest that because his renditions of Rumi were not translated by him, they are inferior. This is far from the truth!

In music, someone who plays someone else's song, is called an interpreter. The new version is always a little different and sometimes better, with heartfelt improvisation. Perhaps, in poetry, this holds true, too. Who better to interpret poetry than a poet?

Coleman Barks is a true poet; unrestrained by language, rhyme, and meter. He suggests that he is only a minor poet. What makes one a major poet? How old or dead do you have to be? How many people have to read or respect your work?

RUMI - THE BIG RED BOOK is great and should be savored like a fine wine. It is arranged in something like chapters, according to some of the ninety-nine names of God and some representatives of True Human Beings. Occasionally, you may read some familar lines from an earlier work but with a new twist. The words and poems are alive! This book is one I will treasure and re-read, hoping to experience more.

It seems Coleman Barks is always revising, compiling, and exploring deeper into meanings. He seems to be an American disciple of Rumi. He reminds me of Chuang Tzu explaining Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching. (Pardon my Anglicanization - I barely understand English, let alone other languages)

I could go on, but if you like Rumi and the Way, you'll love this.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, Mystical, Romantic! 29 Nov 2010
By Money Man - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Rumi, as always, is a stunning enlightened being with holy words that pour out of his mouth. Coleman Barks has assembled a masterful collection of Rumi's best. As I read the poems, I can see the dance, smell the smells and be in the moment. The pieces range from the romantic to the silly, but all celebrate mystical love and friendship. If you like Rumi, or if you are new to one of the greatest poets of all time, buy this book and enjoy it: read it to your lover, read it to your self, meditate on the dance of words. Drink the wine of the Beloved!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Red Book 14 July 2012
By Myra Symons - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this because I especially like Coleman Barks Rumi translation. Coleman barks makes Rumi approachable by translating it into the American English Idiom. Of course Rumi was the best poet, But reading it translated and organized by Coleman Barks is just so much better. I appreciate the wisdom passed on here. I love how Mr. Barks does not shy away from including the graphically sexual parts. It's wonderfully shocking and really takes the point home for me. It's taking me forever to wade through this work because it is all so delicious. I have to read stop and reflect. I find myself sharing these poems which almost always seem spot on with my dear friends. It's my new thing to do. I should have bought this sooner.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rumi The Big Red Book 8 Dec 2010
By Wendie Batho - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Coleman Barks has done it again with another brilliant translation of Rumi. If you are a fan then grab this as it has a comprehensive contents which gives the reader a way of negotiating topics, themes and even star signs as insight into how wonderful Rumi is.
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