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A selection of original translations of the great Persian poet by an up-and-coming American translator and musician.

Up until the age of 40, the 13th century Persian sage Rumi was chiefly known as a preacher and a man of serious and sober views. At that point, however, an encounter with the poet Shams of Tabriz left him utterly transformed. Rumi became a poet himself, a poet in singleminded pursuit of ecstatic illumination and liberation whose poetry is meant to induce a similar revelation in his audience, bringing them to a condition of serenity, compassion, and oneness with the divine. Rumi's poetry is a masterpiece of world literature to which readers in many languages continue to return for inspiration and succour as well as aesthetic delight. This new translation preserves the radical intelligence and the ecstatic drama of poems that are as full of individual character as they are of visionary wisdom.

Marilyn Hacker, one of America's finest contemporary poets, praises Haleh Liza Gafori's new translations of Rumi as "the work of someone who is at once an acute and enamored reader of the original Farsi text, a dedicated miner of context and backstory, and, best of all, a marvelous poet in English."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681375342
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 04/13/2021
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 96

About the Author

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207-1273) was a thirteenth-century Sufi mystic born in the Balkh, in present-day Afghanistan. Considered the greatest poet of the Persian language, he also occasionally wrote in Turkish, Greek, and Arabic. His major works include the Masnavi, a six-volume collection of mystical teachings written in rhyming couplets, and the Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi, a collection of lyric poetry dedicated to his spiritual mentor.

Haleh Liza Gafori is a poet, translator, vocalist, and educator. She received her BS from Stanford University and her MFA in Poetry from the City College of New York. Her poetry has been published by Columbia University Press, Rattapallax Press, Beyond Borders, and Howl. She recently collaborated as translator and composer for the multi-media piece Ask Hafez, supported by the Queens Arts Council. In addition to the poems of Rumi and Hafez, Haleh has also translated the work of contemporary Iranian poets including Salahi, Kadkani, and Sepehri and edited the New Persian Poetry section for Rattapallax Press which featured work by contemporary poets of the Iranian diaspora. She has led workshops on Rumi's poetry and mystical themes at various universities and festivals across the country, and has facilitated singing and chanting circles that make use of Rumi's work. She has also released music as Haale and as The Mast. She lives in Brooklyn.

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