Top positive review
72 people found this helpful
Fabulous book, and a great introduction to Rumi's thought
on 22 April 2006
I have several books on Rumi that I have bought over the years, and originally I got this for a friend. I liked it so much I bought a copy for myself, and it is definitely my favourite collection of Rumi's poetry.
Not only is the translation by far the best I have come across so far (and it is now the standard by which I judge all the rest) but the selection is very thoughtful and the categories so useful for both reading through and dipping into that I find my other Rumi books oddly disatisfying or even irritating.
By far the MOST irritating is the Coleman Barks edition, which, even with the rather grandiose adjective "Essential" in the title, comes across as a highly dubious and unconvincing "translation". In fact, some parts sound so completely made up by the translator, you get the impression you are reading 20th century Coleman Barks, not Rumi at all. Instead of reading some of the greatest gems of Sufi thought, you find yourself transposed to a strange American alternate universe.
But I suspect it is also personal taste. For me, this spiritual treasury really does live up to its title - spiritually uplifting and a joy to read.