America's best-selling poet, 14th-century Sufi bard Rumi, would feel as overwhelmed as the rest of us when trying to pick out just the right collection of his translated masterpieces. To the rescue comes Kabir Helminski, a modern-day Sufi who has wrapped up a sampler of Rumi's inspirational poems. Let's not object that about half of the translations are from Kabir's own hand (in cooperation with his wife Camille) since they are excellent in their own respect and are accompanied by pieces from the likes of Robert Bly, Coleman Barks and Andrew Harvey. As editor, Helminski spans the range of Rumi's oeuvre, from the contemplative "Stay Close, My Heart", to the ecstatic "Drowned in God", to the whimsical "Animal Cookies". The magic of Rumi is his imagery. The journey to God comes cloaked in such guises as a tailor, bread, buttermilk, a surgeon, chickpeas, the edge of a roof, a beggar, a jar and an elephant's dream. Two of the tastiest treats are "Eating Poetry" and "Love is Like a Lawsuit". --Brian Bruya
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