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Essential Rumi (Essential (Booksales)) Hardcover – 1 Mar 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Mar 1998
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Castle Books,US; New edition edition (Mar. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078580871X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785808718
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 14.6 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

No translator could do greater justice to the gorgeous simplicity of Rumi's poetry than Coleman Barks has done here. These exquisite renderings of the 13th-century Persian mystic's words into modern free verse capture all the "inner searching, the delicacy, and simple groundedness" that characterise Rumi's poetry while remaining faithful to the images, tone and spiritual message of the originals. Barks's introductions to each of the 27 sections (described as "playful palimpsests spread over Rumi's imagination", and "meant to confuse scholars who would divide Rumi's poetry into the accepted categories") are themselves wonderful achievements of a poetic imagination; searching explanations of unfamiliar concepts and funny stories provide colourful background and frame the selections as no dry historical exegesis could.

While Barks's stamp on this collection is clear, it in no way interferes with the poems themselves; Rumi's voice leaps off these pages with an ecstatic energy that leaves readers breathless. There are poems of love, rage, sadness, pleading and longing; passionate outbursts about the torture of yearning for his beloved and the sweet pleasure that comes from their union; amusing stories of sexual exploits or human weakness; and quiet truths about the beauty and variety of human emotion. More than anything, Rumi makes plain the unbridled joy that comes from living life fully, urging us always to put aside our fears and take the risk to do so. As he says: "The way of love is not / a subtle argument. / The door there is devastation. / Birds make great sky-circles / of their freedom. / How do they learn it? / They fall, and falling, / they're given wings." --Uma Kukathas -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.

About the Author

Rumi was a thirteenth century Persian philosopher. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rumi (as he is known in the West), was known as Jelaluddin Balkhi by the Persians and Afghanis, from where he was born in 1207. Rumi means 'from Roman Anatolia', which is where his family fled to avoid the threat of Mongol armies. Being raised in a theological family, Rumi studied extensively in religion and poetry, until encountering Shams of Tabriz, a wandering mystic, with whom he formed the first of his intense, mystical friendships, so intense that it inspired jealously among Rumi's students and family. Shams eventually disappeared (most likely murdered because of the jealousy); Rumi formed later more mystical friendships, each with a different quality, which seemed essential for Rumi's creative output. Rumi was involved with the mystical tradition that continues to this day of the dervish (whirling dervishes are best known), and used it as a personal practice and as a teaching tool.
This book has a deliberate task: 'The design of this book is meant to confuse scholars who would divide Rumi's poetry into the accepted categories.' Barks and Moyne have endeavoured to put together a unified picture that playfully spans the breadth of Rumi's imagination, without resorting to scholarly pigeon-holes and categorisations.
'All of which makes the point that these poems are not monumental in the Western sense of memorialising moments; they are not discrete entities but a fluid, continuously self-revising, self-interrupting medium.'
Rumi created these poems as part of a constant, growing conversation with a dervish learning community. It flows from esoteric to mundane, from ecstatic to banal, incorporating music and movement at some points, and not at others, with the occasional batch of prose.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
True, Coleman Barks does not speak Persian or Arabic. And he is the first to admit that his is not a literal translation. Instead, Barks has worked with translations into Turkish, intended to preserve the spirit of Rumi's poetry, and in has aimed to do the same. In this, I feel he has had phenomenal success.

This collection truly transmits the power and energy of Rumi's inspiration- invoking Plato's image (in the Ion) of the magnet as the muse, and the poet as the first iron ring attached to the magnet, absorbing its force, and transmitting the same force to the audience further along the line. I think this book brings strengthens the current for the English speaking audience, and hence channels a greater amount of the inspiration which makes Rumi's poetry so remarkable.

Not one for stuffy academics, but this book will touch your soul if you open to it.
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Format: Hardcover
Whether you're contemplating Rumi in a meadow or while stuck in traffic, his eloquence reaches across the centuries to move you.
I highly recommend this book for anyone just beginning their study. The introduction and accompanying editorial comments provide a starting point for personal perspective.
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Format: Paperback
Rumi (as he is known in the West), was known as Jelaluddin Balkhi by the Persians and Afghanis, from where he was born in 1207. Rumi means 'from Roman Anatolia', which is where his family fled to avoid the threat of Mongol armies. Being raised in a theological family, Rumi studied extensively in religion and poetry, until encountering Shams of Tabriz, a wandering mystic, with whom he formed the first of his intense, mystical friendships, so intense that it inspired jealously among Rumi's students and family. Shams eventually disappeared (most likely murdered because of the jealousy); Rumi formed later more mystical friendships, each with a different quality, which seemed essential for Rumi's creative output. Rumi was involved with the mystical tradition that continues to this day of the dervish (whirling dervishes are best known), and used it as a personal practice and as a teaching tool.
This book has a deliberate task: 'The design of this book is meant to confuse scholars who would divide Rumi's poetry into the accepted categories.' Barks and Moyne have endeavoured to put together a unified picture that playfully spans the breadth of Rumi's imagination, without resorting to scholarly pigeon-holes and categorisations.
'All of which makes the point that these poems are not monumental in the Western sense of memorialising moments; they are not discrete entities but a fluid, continuously self-revising, self-interrupting medium.'
Rumi created these poems as part of a constant, growing conversation with a dervish learning community. It flows from esoteric to mundane, from ecstatic to banal, incorporating music and movement at some points, and not at others, with the occasional batch of prose.
'Some go first, and others come long afterward.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I find the work of Rumi a wonderful guide to life and listening to my soul. These translations mean I can access the teachings of Rumi and they capture the essence and energy in the work. Highly recommended
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By DelWij VINE VOICE on 5 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a poor collection.....
Try the translations by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin - Whispers of the Beloved and Gardens of the Beloved - they are a million times more beautiful than this.
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