This revised and expanded edition of the comprehensive one-volume edition of America's most popular poet includes a new introduction by Coleman Barks, and 57 new poems never published before.
The ecstatic, spiritual poetry of Rumi is more popular than ever, and The Essential Rumi continues to be far and away the top-selling title of all Rumi books. With the addition of many new poems and a new introduction, The Essential Rumi is now clearly the definitive, and most delightful selection of Rumi's poetry.
Dimensions: 5" x 8"
Details: Paperback, 388 pages
Author: Coleman Barks
"No translator could do greater justice to the gorgeous simplicity of Rumi's poetry than Coleman Barks has done here. These exquisite renderings of the 13th-century Persian mystic's words into American free verse capture all the "inner searching, the delicacy, and simple groundedness" that characterize Rumi's poetry while remaining faithful to the images, tone, and spiritual message of the originals. Barks's introductions to each of the 27 sections (described as "playful palimpsests spread over Rumi's imagination," and "meant to confuse scholars who would divide Rumi's poetry into the accepted categories") are themselves wonderful achievements of a poetic imagination; searching explanations of unfamiliar concepts and funny stories provide colorful background and frame the selections as no dry historical exegesis could.
"While Barks's stamp on this collection is clear, it in no way interferes with the poems themselves; Rumi's voice leaps off these pages with an ecstatic energy that leaves readers breathless. There are poems of love, rage, sadness, pleading, and longing; passionate outbursts about the torture of longing for his beloved and the sweet pleasure that comes from their union; amusing stories of sexual exploits or human weakness; and quiet truths about the beauty and variety of human emotion. More than anything, Rumi makes plain the unbridled joy that comes from living life fully, urging us always to put aside our fears and take the risk to do so. As he says: 'The way of love is not / a subtle argument. / The door there is devastation. / Birds make great sky-circles / of their freedom. / How do they learn it? / They fall, and falling, / they're given wings.'"
—Uma Kukathas, Amazon.com
"Perhaps the world's greatest spiritual poet--the gold of Rumipours down through Coleman's words. The words leap off thepage and dance!"
—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
"The Essential Rumi is a rare and precious book that will stir the hearts of Rumi devotees and win many new converts."
—Body Mind Spirit
"If Rumi is the most-read poet in America today, Coleman Barks is in good part responsible. His ear for the truly divine madness in Rumi's poetry is truly remarkable."
—Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions
About Coleman Barks
Coleman Barks was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and went to school at the University of North Carolina and the University of California, Berkeley. He taught poetry and creative writing at the University of Georgia for thirty years.
In 1976 fellow poet Robert Bly showed Coleman Barks some scholarly translations of the great Sufi poet Rumi. Bly suggested to Barks that he make a more modern poetic translation, as Bly recalls saying to Barks, "Release these (poems) from their scholarly cages."
Thus with the encouragement of Bly, Bark sought to recast these Rumi poems in a more modern version. Barks does not seek to replicate the rhyme and rhythm of the original Persian. Instead he prefers to render the essence of the poems into free verse. In making these modern versions Barks is attempting to encapsulate the spiritual insight, humour and spirit of Rumi's original masterpieces.
Coleman Barks' versions of Rumi have proved to be remarkably popu
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