My verse resembles the bread of Egypt—night passes over it, and you cannot eat it any more.
Devour it the moment it is fresh, before the dust settles upon it.
Its place is the warm climate of the heart; in this world it dies of cold.
Like a fish it quivered for an instant on dry land, another moment and you see it is cold.
Even if you eat it imagining it is fresh, it is necessary to conjure up many images.
What you drink is really your own imagination; it is no old tale, my good man.
Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207–73), legendary Persian Muslim poet, theologian, and mystic, wrote poems acclaimed through the centuries for their powerful spiritual images and provocative content, which often described Rumi’s love for God in romantic or erotic terms. His vast body of work includes more than three thousand lyrics and odes. This volume includes four hundred poems selected by renowned Rumi scholar A. J. Arberry, who provides here one of the most comprehensive and adept English translations of this enigmatic genius. Mystical Poems is the definitive resource for anyone seeking an introduction to or an enriched understanding of one of the world’s greatest poets.
“Rumi is one of the world’s greatest lyrical poets in any language—as well as probably the most accessible and approachable representative of Islamic civilization for Western students.”—James W. Morris, Oberlin College
'You don't seek guidance from those drunken men, So why insist they mend their rags again? God's lovers stand beyond all faiths, as they Are shown by God Himself a higher way.' Book Two of Rumi's Masnavi is concerned with the challenges facing the seeker of Sufi enlightenment. In particular it focuses on the struggle against the self, and how to choose the right companions in order to progress along the mystical path. By interweaving amusing stories and profound homilies, Rumi instructs his followers in a style that still speaks directly to us. In this volume, stories such as 'Moses and the Shepherd', 'The Foolhardy Man who Trusted a Bear's Good Intentions' and 'Mo'awiya and Satan' are among the most popular in the entire Masnavi. The most influential Sufi poem ever written, the six books of the Masnavi are often called 'the Qur'an in Persian'. Self-contained, as well as continuing the journey along the spiritual path, Book Two is here translated into rhyming couplets in the style of Jawid Mojaddedi's prize-winning translation of Book One. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.