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There Is Some Kiss We Want
on 22 August 2005
Coleman Barks once again translates the words of Rumi with respect, good nature, a bit of humor, and a deep understanding of this 13th century mystic and poet. A renowned poet and something of a mystic himself, Coleman Barks leads us through his book as a constant and caring companion. He begins each chapter with his own touching stories, guidance, and expert explanations for the material he lays out. One simply cannot come away from this book without having some sincere appreciation for the devotion and dedication Coleman Barks has for another poet's words.
In "Rumi: The Book Of Love: poems of ecstasy and longing", we are led deep into the regions of the soul, where love is both Universal and Divine. It is a love that beckons us to shed our own image and concepts of ourselves, in exchange for a love that is so vast and joyful, its eloquence can only be experienced rather than explained.
How can we know the divine qualities from within? If we only know through metaphors, It's like when children ask what sex feels like and you answer, "Like candy, so sweet." (88)
Rumi seems to realize mankind is comprised of many faiths, and he mentions many of them with dignity and respect. Yet Rumi's own experience takes him beyond religion, even his own. He often exchanges the word "God" with "Friend", and refers to himself and others who have achieved his enlightened state as "Lovers".
Rumi's words and sublime wisdom ring true for us, as he shares his knowledge of the God-Friend in a both Universal and personal message. We are extremely fortunate to have the poetry of this selfless and compassionate mystic reach us through the fragile, and often forgetful, span of time. Because through Rumi's poetry, we seem to hear our own soul's call and longing to gently open like a beautiful and fragrant flower, and laugh with a tender and colorful sweetness.
There is some kiss we want with our whole lives,
the touch of spirit on the body (33)
author of "Perfectly Said: when words become art"