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At least half a dozen poets and scholars could claim partial responsibility for the remarkable renaissance in the study of Jalal ad-Din Rumi, Islamic poet/mystic and favored saint of Sufism. He has now surpassed Rainer Maria Rilke and Khalil Gibran as the poet of the spiritual seeker. Barks (The Essential Rumi) is arguably the most eminent of these writers, and his book, issued in celebration of Rumi's 800th birthday, presents 90 new translations of Rumi's ecstatic insights, most never before published. Barks's translations are no less incandescent than those that have come before; his long introduction speaks eloquently of his commitment to Rumi and of the strangeness of his quest in the context of a very changed Middle East.