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A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi

A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi

by Rumi, Jonathan Star (Translator), Shahram Shiva (Editor)

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When a pious professor in Anatolia underwent a series of ecstatic friendships in midlife, he produced some astounding mystical poetry. The Sufi and writer Rumi (1207-1273) composed thousands of verses in Persian and invented the dance of the whirling dervishes. His utterances were spontaneous, and he slighted his own literary gifts, but Rumi was a sophisticated and original poet: In one poem, when house and home are devastated, love comes as a ragman asking for old shoes. Almost any reader will discover a vibrant humanity in Rumi. Unfortunately, in their translations poets Star and Shiva mainly convey cliches that have developed around Sufism. Stumbling through a vocabulary of ``Beloved's,'' ``O's'' and ``Alas's,'' they rarely suggest that the poetry has a beat that people once danced to. Also, about a third of the longer odes in this book are their versions of earlier translations by others, and a comparison with those sources shows a tendency to hyperbole and repetition by Star and Shiva that is not present in the original. (Nov.)

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Random House Publishing Group
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