The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems

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9780060604523: The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems
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Inside A Lover's Heart There's Another World, And Yet Another

Rumi's masterpieces have inspired countless people throughout the centuries, and Coleman Barks's exquisite renderings of the thirteenth-century Persian mystic are widely considered the definitive versions for our time. Barks's translations capture the inward exploration and intensity that characterize Rumi's poetry, making this unique voice of mysticism and desire contemporary while remaining true to the original poems. In this volume readers will encounter the essence of Sufism's insights into the experience of divine love, wisdom, and the nature of both humanity and God.

While Barks's stamp on this collection is clear, it is Rumi's voice that leaps off these pages with a rapturous power that leaves readers breathless. These poems express our deepest yearning for the transcendent connection with the source of the divine: there are passionate outbursts about the torment of longing for the beloved and the sweet delight that comes from union; stories of sexual adventures and of loss; poems of love and fury, sadness and joy; and quiet truths about the beauty and variety of human emotion. For Rumi, soul and body and emotion are not separate but are rather part of the great mystery of mortal life, a riddle whose solution is love. Above all else, Rumi's poetry exposes us to the delight that comes from being fully alive, urging us always to put aside our fears and take the risk of discovering our core self:

No one knows what makes the soul wake up so happy! Maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil from the face of God.

These fresh, original translations magnificently convey Rumi's insights into the human heart and its longings with his signature passion and daring, focusing on the ecstatic experience of the inseparability of human and divine love. The match between Rumi's sublime poetry and Coleman Barks's poetic art are unequaled, and here this artistic union is raised to new heights.

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When Rumi was born in Afghanistan in 1207, it was a time of tremendous political turmoil in the Near East. Paradoxically, it was also a time of "brilliant mystical awareness," writes translator Coleman Barks in The Soul of Rumi. This brilliance shines through in every passage, as Barks celebrates the ecstatic nature of Rumi's poetry. Barks (The Essential Rumi) has been given much credit for leading modern Westerners to this astounding poet. His sensitivity to the reader is evidenced in how he organizes the poetry according to themes. Since Rumi is often quoted at public gatherings, such as weddings and memorial services, this makes referencing especially easy. In the section entitled "When Friend Meets Friend," readers find the poem "The Soul's Friend":

The most living moment comes when those who love each other meet each other's eyes and in what flows between them then. To see your face in a crowd of others, or alone on a frightening street, I weep for that....
Barks offers a gracefully rendered introduction to each section, providing personal and historical background of the poetry. Elegantly designed and printed on cream-colored, heavy-stock paper, this is a delight for Rumi fans. --Gail Hudson

From the Back Cover:

The Soul of Rumi is renowned poet Coleman Barks' first major assemblage of newly translated Rumi poems since his bestselling The Essential Rumi.

Coleman Barks presents entirely new translations of Rumi's poems, published for the first time in The Soul of Rumi. The poems range over the breadth of Rumi's themes: silence, emptiness, play, God, peace, grief, sexuality, music, to name just a few. But the focus is on the ecstatic experience of human and divine love and their inseparability, conveyed with Rumi's signature passion, daring, and insights into the human heart and the heart's longings.

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