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.
Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of thirteenth-century Sufi Mystic Rumi more popular than ever.
The Essential Rumi continues to be the bestselling of all Rumi books, and the definitive selection of his beautiful, mystical poetry.
Barks includes an Introduction that sets Rumi in his context and an Afterword musing on poetry of the mysterious and the sacred. Join Coleman Barks and Rumi for a year-long journey into the mystical and sacred within and without. Join them in recognizing and embracing the divine in the sublime, in the ordinary, and in us all.
“Elegant and exquisite.” —Deepak Chopra, author of Muhammad, Jesus, and Buddha
The Big Red Book is a poetic masterpiece from Jalaluddin Rumi, the medieval Sufi mystic whom Time magazine calls “the most popular poet in America.” Readers continue to be awed and inspired by Rumi’s masterfully lyrical, deeply expressive poems, collected in volumes such as The Illustrated Rumi, The Soul of Rumi, and the bestselling The Essential Rumi. With The Big Red Book, acclaimed poet and Rumi interpreter Coleman Barks offers a never-before-published translation of a crucial anthology of poems widely considered to be one of Persian literature’s greatest treasures.
In this stunning translation, Coleman Barks brings to light Rumi’s theme of “love as religion”—that to reach its most profound depths requires mindful practice—as well as love in its most meaningful form: soul friendship. These short poems by both Rumi and Shams Tabriz, rich in beauty and spiritual insight, capture the delight and the impermanence of these bonds that pierce deep into the human mind, heart, and soul.
Rumi’s poetry is honored and enjoyed by many traditions and cultures. Today, many people from all walks of life have moved beyond traditional notions of spirituality, embracing a sense of the sacred that transcends a singular religion, belief, or text. Rumi’s poetry speaks to them and nourishes their divine yearnings. Joyous and contemplative, provocative and playful, Rumi: Soul Fury is a sterling addition to the modern Rumi oeuvre, and is sure to be embraced by his wide and devoted readership.
Bahauddin, Rumi's father, was not only a major force in the development of Islamic spirituality, but also a deeply influential force in his son's life. In this, the first ever substantial English version of a wonderful but virtually unknown book, Bahauddin proves to be a daring, spiritual genius. His voice comes through the delightful, passionate craft of Coleman Barks, who transforms the Persian translations of John Moyne into fresh spiritual literature.
Barks's open-hearted, free verse poetry is infused with a joy of the spirit at play with the forms of the world. His journey through life is deeply embedded in his work. The poems spring directly from experience and engage with subjects such as the elation and struggle of having and raising children, grief over the deaths of loved ones, the transition from parent to grandparent, or the changing nature and intensity of desire. Barks's open letter to President Bush, written days before the invasion of Iraq and widely circulated online, is a poetic plea for peace, offering a startling and moving alternative to war.
Whether it is the childhood excitement of being named best athlete at summer camp or the early signs of dementia at the age of seventy, Barks uses the personal to convey the universal. The unique flow of a life is here in poems that are rueful, confused, torn, and grateful, but always informed by Barks's transcendent sense of joy and playfulness.