Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship

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Overview

Considered one of the masterpieces of world literature, The Big Red Book is perhaps the greatest work of Rumi, the medieval Sufi mystic who also happens to be the bestselling poet in America.

Rumi was born in 1207 to a long line of Islamic theologians and lawyers on the eastern edge of the Persian Empire in what is now Afghanistan. In order to escape the invading Mongol armies of Genghis Khan, his family moved west to a town now found in Turkey, where he eventually became the ...

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Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship

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Overview

Considered one of the masterpieces of world literature, The Big Red Book is perhaps the greatest work of Rumi, the medieval Sufi mystic who also happens to be the bestselling poet in America.

Rumi was born in 1207 to a long line of Islamic theologians and lawyers on the eastern edge of the Persian Empire in what is now Afghanistan. In order to escape the invading Mongol armies of Genghis Khan, his family moved west to a town now found in Turkey, where he eventually became the leader of a school of whirling dervishes. It was a fateful day in 1244 when he met Shams Tabriz, a wild mystic with rare gifts and insight. The renowned scholar Rumi had found a soul mate and friend who would become his spiritual mentor and literary muse. "What I had thought of before as God," Rumi said, "I met today in a human being."

Out of their friendship, Rumi wrote thousands of lyric poems and short quatrains in honor of his friend Shams Tabriz. They are poems of divine epiphany, spiritual awakening, friendship, and love. For centuries, Rumi's collection of these verses has traditionally been bound in a red cover, hence the title of this inspired classic of spiritual literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Deepak Chopra
“Coleman Barks is a pioneer and renown scholar on Rumi, the great Sufi. In his elegant and exquisite way, Coleman has made Rumi as popular as Shakespeare to the world and continues to inspire us with the Rumi’s ecstatic poetry.”
Naomi Shihab Nye
“Really, what other book would anyone ever need?”
Robert Bly
“Coleman Barks found Rumi floating in some Georgia lake and brought him back to life. What a blessing! Rumi says, ‘Some nights stay up until dawn, as the moon sometimes does for the sun.’ Coleman has stayed up all night, and every reader is grateful.”
Debra Winger
“Rumi’s Big Red Book tells us: ‘Compassion builds a door, Restlessness cuts a key.’ I am forever grateful to Coleman Barks, restless, yearning to find the bridge from Rumi and Shams to the world we presently inhabit. He is truly to Be Loved for making this ‘transaction with beauty’…”
Los Angeles Times
“An emeritus English professor at the University of Georgia, Barks has spent 34 years working on Rumi’s poetry — you could even say that Rumi has been the secret companion musician Barks has danced to.”
Shambhala Sun
“Barks has become internationally renowned for his translations.... Rumi: The Big Red Book is the culmination of his work.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Without question, we can credit Coleman Barks with making Rumi accessible to American readers through his modernized renditions of the best-known poems of the great Islamic mystic.... Richly sensual yet never flowery, Barks’ language emphasizes Rumi’s embodied spirituality in a book to savor.”
Booklist
"Without question, we can credit Coleman Barks with making Rumi accessible to American readers through his modernized renditions of the best-known poems of the great Islamic mystic.... Richly sensual yet never flowery, Barks’ language emphasizes Rumi’s embodied spirituality in a book to savor."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061905834
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 268,702
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Coleman Barksis a renowned poet and the bestselling author of The Essential Rumi, The Soul of Rumi, Rumi: The Book of Love, and The Drowned Book. He was prominently featured in both of Bill Moyers's PBS television series on poetry, The Language of Life and Fooling with Words. He taught English and poetry at the University of Georgia for thirty years, and he now focuses on writing, readings, and performances. This book is the culmination of over thirty years of Barks's work on Rumi's seminal classic.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Rumi's Life 1

The Soul Essence of Shams Tabriz 7

I Odes (Ghazals) 13

Names for the Mystery 14

1 Al-Fattah, The Opener 15

Jars of Springwater 16

God in the Stew 16

Undressing 16

Flightpaths 17

Mountaintop Trough 17

Open Window 18

A Northern Wind 18

Entrance Door 19

The Opener 19

The Source of Joy 20

The Silent Articulation of a Face 20

Cry Out Your Grief 21

The Heart Acts as Translator 21

We Are Tired of Secret Joy 22

Fasting 22

In the Arc of Your Mallet 23

The Torrent Leaves 23

Locked Out of Life 24

Granite and Glass 24

A Garden is Questioning the Dawn 25

What a Fine Song 25

Soul Spring 26

2 Al-Jami, The Gatherer 27

Everyone Outdoors Talking 28

A Story They Know 29

The Meeting 29

Leaving 31

We Are the Sun 31

Uncle of the Jar 32

Asylum 33

A Delicate Girl 33

Blade 34

Strange Gathering 34

Keep Moving 35

Trees 36

Walking Out of the Treasury Building 36

Keeper of Secrets 37

The Shop 38

The Wine Vat's Lid 38

The Waterwheel 39

A Community of the Spirit 40

No Ordinary Friendship 41

At Home in Both Places 41

3 Al-Batin, The Hidden 43

The Living Doubleness 44

Green from Inside 44

Saladin 45

Harvest 45

See What You Have Despised in Yourself 46

Climb to the Execution Place 46

To the Extent They Can Die 47

Broom Work 47

Back into the Reedbed 48

Bowls of Food 48

You So Hidden 51

The Tent 51

Privacy 52

This Splashing Around 52

Drum 53

Wherever He is Moving 53

This Soup 53

What the Sun Says Rising 55

4 Al-Khabir, The Aware, The Knowing 57

The Knots Unite 58

Solomon Ant 58

Water from the Well of the Soul 59

Talking to the Luck-Bird 60

A Beautiful Walk Inside You 60

More Range 61

Knowledge Beyond Love 61

Cup 62

Sour, Doughy, Numb, and Raw 63

Someone Being Drawn to You 63

A New-Green Branch 63

The Oldest Thirst There is 64

The Reed Flute's Work 64

Roselit Piece of Shell 65

A Bowl 65

Unfold Your Own Myth 66

Bismillah 67

5 Al-Bari, The Maker From Nothing 68

Two Days of Silence 69

Soul Houses 69

One Being Inside All 70

You Make Your Own Oil as You Cook 71

What is Inside the Ground 71

Two Donkeys 72

Spring Drumming Again 72

Go Behind the Screen 73

The Mill 73

The Elusive Ones 74

A Garden Where the House Was 74

After Being in Love, the Next Responsibility 75

Thornbush Music 76

Spindrift 76

Spillings 77

6 Al-Hayy, The Living 78

The Verge of Tears 79

Entering the Shell 79

A Mixed-Breed Apple 80

What You Gave 80

Desolation 81

Choose a Suffering 81

The Death of Saladin 82

The Music We Are 82

Glory to Mutabilis 83

The Most Alive Moment 84

It is All Laughing 84

The Reply 84

The Diver's Clothes Lying Empty 85

Decorating the Cell 86

With You Here Between 86

A Bit of Embroidery 87

Your Love Reveals Your Beauty 88

The Wood and the Flames, Still Talking 88

The Day I Die 89

Old, Yet Freshly Begun 90

Never Quite as Alive

7 Al-Haqq, The Truth 91

Hamza's Nothing 92

Another Invitation 92

Miles of Riverside Canebrake 93

Alive with Scripture 93

You Shall Not See Me 95

A Brightening Floor 96

Wind That Mixes with Your Fire 96

Not Intrigued with Evening 96

A Lion Looking for Laughter 97

The Face 97

Greed and Generosity 98

The Rights of Crying 98

The Other Thing 99

My Worst Habit 99

Soul and Friend 100

8 As-Salaam, Peace 101

Calm in the Midst of Lightning 102

A Mountain Nest 102

Full Sun 103

Begin 103

A Clean Sandy Spot 104

A Vague Trace 104

Talking Through the Door 104

Look, Fish 106

In Prison 107

Rumi's Deathbed Poem 107

The Beloved Night 108

Quietness 108

Sanai 109

Spring is Christ 110

Red Shirt 110

Not a Day on Any Calendar 111

The Least Figure 111

9 Ar-Rahim, The Compassionate 112

I See My Beauty in You 113

Your Morning Shade 113

The Wave of That Agreement 113

The Faint Lament of Form 114

Evidence 115

Evening Sky Garnet Red 115

This Battered Saucepan 116

The Mystery of the Way 116

Champion Lovemaker and Leader of Men 117

The Buddhist Sufi 117

Up to the Neck 118

Open Your Mouth to This Wind 119

Wetness and Water 119

Out of the Image-Making Business 121

Flutes for Dancing 121

Wax 121

The Many Appeals of the Color Red 122

10 An-Nur, Light 123

The Light Inside the Face 124

A Walking Fire 124

The Shine in the Fields 125

More of Your Names 125

Daring Enough to Finish 126

Inhale Autumn, Long for Spring 126

Ocean Light 127

Soul Light and Sun the Same 128

The Generations I Praise 128

Sneezing Out Animals 128

The Importance of Setting Out 129

Walking Up, Dawn Music 129

Move into the Sun 130

The Ocean Moving All Night 130

A Cleared Site 130

Some Kiss 131

Sticks Full of Light 131

Sunlight 132

Wet and Dry 133

One Drop 133

Passage into Silence 133

Shreds of Steam 134

11 Ash-Shakur, The Grateful 135

Underwater in the Fountain 136

Drowsy 136

So We Can Have What We Want 136

Every Tree 137

Doorsill 138

What Fear of Loss? 139

Is This a Place Where Stories Are Acted Out? 139

The Sun's Glowing Castiron Mold 140

Preparing the Pen 140

How You Became What You Are Now 141

Bonfire at Midnight 142

A Ripe Fig 142

The Deepest Rest 143

Stingy Aloes Wood 143

Sweet Outlaws 144

A Grape 145

Shamss Air 145

Content with Ignorance 146

The New Moon 146

12 Al-Latif, The Subtle, The Intricate 147

What Is Not Here 148

Raw, Well-Cooked, and Burnt 148

Why and Where We Go 149

Word Fog 149

Leaves About to Let Go 150

Spilled Speech 151

The Dance of Your Hidden Life 151

Hunt Music 152

An Ointment Mixed with Earth 152

If You Want to Live in Your Soul 153

Spring 154

Lost Camel 155

Goldsmithing 155

The Nightwatchman 156

Strange Business 156

Phrase Your Question 157

Lies from Each Other 158

I Am the Ground 158

We Are Three 159

13 Bawa Muhaiyaddeen 160

A Transparent Tree 161

Silkworms 161

A Voice Through the Door 162

A Great Rose Tree 162

A Light Within His Light 162

Pure Silence 163

A Waking Town 164

Walkingstick Dragon 164

Let the Way Itself Arrive 165

Mounted Man 165

Clouds 166

Language is a Tailor's Shop Where Nothing Fits 166

Only One Sunrise a Day 167

That Moment Again 168

I Have Such a Teacher 168

The Snow-World Melts 169

Wind That Tastes of Bread and Salt 169

A Thirsty Fish 170

A Waterbird Flying into the Sun 170

14 Osho 172

Friday 173

Musk in a Small Box 173

A Hundred and One 174

A Man Talking to His House 174

The Time of Divulging 175

Holiday Without Limits 177

We Cannot Decide 178

I Pass By the Door 179

Joseph 179

No Discussion 180

Burnt Kabob 180

Our Turn 181

Love's Nightcap 181

Answers from the Elements 182

Say Yes Quickly 182

Basra Dates 183

Raggedness 184

A Great Wagon 185

See Where It Comes From 185

The Oven's Question 186

15 Ramana Maharshi 187

Would You Bow? 188

I Am Not This 189

I Met One Traveling 189

The Only Obligation 190

Struck Tent 190

Empty Boat 191

Infidel Fish 191

When Your Secret is Spoken 192

Baby Pigeon 192

An Egypt Wandering Wilderness 195

Come Back, My Friend 195

I Am More the Way You Are 196

A Closed Jar 196

Almost in Sight 197

16 Dissolving the Concept of "God" 198

A Question 199

The Taste of Morning 199

You Are as You Are 200

Thorn Witness 200

The Self We Share 201

Stranded Somewhere 202

Let the Soup Simmer 202

Like a Fig 203

Winter or Summer 204

Whereabouts Unknown 205

Drawn by Soup 205

The Last of Your Wine 205

I Am Not 206

This Love Which is Made of Our Love for Emptiness 206

The Whole Place Goes Up 207

Flood Residue 207

Spoken Things 208

Sleep 209

This Night of Talking 209

Your Presence 210

At That Meeting 211

A Walk You Can Take 212

Headless Camels 212

17 Playing 213

Playing and Being Played 214

Inside the Rose 215

As the Sky Does in Water 215

Seeds and Rain 216

One Thing I Did Wrong 216

Hometown Streets 216

Pictures of the Soul 217

Border Stations 218

No More the Presence 218

Givens 218

I Keep Using Two Pronouns 219

Your Old Aunt and Uncle 220

This Praising Sound 220

When Completely Naked 221

Friends with Sunlight 221

I'm Not Saying This Right 222

The Steambath 222

18 Shams Tabriz: The Friend 224

The Friend 225

An Invisible Bee 226

A Grainy Taste 226

The Mirror Between Us 226

The Pleiades 227

Parinda, the One Who Flies Away 227

The One Who Left 228

Avalanche 228

Your Turn at Dice 228

Back to Being 229

Your Face 229

The Sweet Blade of Your Anger 230

Soul, Heart, and Body One Morning 230

What I Say Makes Me Drunk 231

Any Chance Meeting 231

Sitting Together 232

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