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Like This: 43 Odes Paperback – 10 Aug 1995

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: The Windrush Press (10 Aug. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961891629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961891626
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 11.2 x 0.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,237,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
That Rumi wrote these kind of sentiments in the 13th century is humbling, and a relief. The poems are ecstatic hymns to life.Very human, but uplifting, and vital in this crazy world. I do not read Persian, but Coleman Barks' versions provide enough joy and thought for extended contemplation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Simply the best poetry I have ever read !
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Format: Paperback
must read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interpretation of Rumi's poetry by a fine interpreter 18 Aug. 2000
By M. J. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Before judging the quality of Like This note that Barks titles them "versions by Coleman Barks." Barks does not read Rumi in the original but rather produces secondary translations through working with scholars who can read the original. If you are looking for a translation which carries the flavor of the original language, these translations are not for you. If, however, you are interested in reading poetry that tries to maintain original images and make them understandable to the Western mind, then you will find that Barks achieves his goal very well.
Like This contains 43 odes originally translated by John Moyne, a linguist at CUNY; Coleman Barks has then used in skill in English poetry to make version of these poems. What is most evident in his versions is that he has spent many years with the material and has developed a "sense of it" without mistaking that "sense of it" with being a Sufi Master.
If you have an interest in Sufi or religious ectastic poetry, this volume is well worth your time. If you are a 12th-13th century Persian scholar they are not. An example: "There's a tradition that God can be seen / in the color red. In the lights / that come from red hair!" - interesting thought which arouses in me, at least, a healthy curiousity regarding the tradition.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular interpretations, wholly faithful to the spirit of the originals 12 April 2006
By Kambiz Homayounfar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The fact that Barks cannot read the original Persian and must work with literal translations of others only adds to the significance of his achievement: it does not lessen it. I cannot begin to fathom how he managed to extract the spirit of Rumi's work from cryptic and often nonsensical earlier translations. Yet Barks remains faithful to what Rumi uttered 700 years ago and reaffirms that the poet's message is indeed universal, beyond language and time. Barks never set out to preserve the musicality of the original Persian. Here he's been wise to avoid an effort whose futility is evident in the works of Arberry and Nicholson. As someone who can read Rumi in both languages, I am delighted and amazed by the way Barks releases these poems from the cage of literal translations. Enjoy!
27 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars amazing... 8 Dec. 1999
By Christopher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Amazing that Coleman Barks credits himself as translator of Rumi, despite apparently never having even read Rumi's writing in the original Persian. R. Nicholson, whose translations from the original Farsi Barks cribs (sorry - "rephrases") in several books, himself admits: "I do not, of course, pretend to have understood everything..." No such humility encumbers Barks, however. Apparently, his unique spiritual insights into Rumi make reference to the original writings unnecessary. At worst, this is the channeling approach to translation. At best, it is postmodernist orientalism. The scholar Nicholson writes that "no writer can fairly be judged by fragments, however fine..." Barks seems to agree, writing that his poems are "buckets lifted from a whole, whose connectedness runs its vast and intimate course..." To get a glimpse of that course, take a look at the translation Nicholson recommends, Whinfield's Masnavi, still in print through Octagon Books, under the title "Teachings of Rumi". The New York Times equates Barks's Rumi success with Kahlil Gibran's popularity in the sixties. That's good for Barks, at least financially. Whether he accurately conveys the teaching of the poet whom even contemporary Sufis refer to as "Our Master," or even approaches the literary value of that original, is another matter.
4.0 out of 5 stars hard to follow, but good 10 May 2007
By Liz! H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
i found this style of writing a little difficult to follow and read it a couple times, but overall i really enjoyed it and it had a lot of really beautiful, insightful things to say.
4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible, wonderful, delicious 13 Dec. 1998
By carol@baroudi.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
must rea
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