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.
Rumi: Bridge to the Soul: Journeys into the Music and Silence of the Heartby Rumi, Coleman Barks (Translator), A. J. Arberry (With), Nevit Ergin (With)
2007 is the "Year of Rumi," and who better than Coleman Barks, Rumi's unlikely, supremely passionate ambassador, to mark the milestone of this great poet's 800th birthday? Barks, who was recently awarded an honorary doctorate in Persian language and literature by the University of Tehran for his thirty years of translating Rumi, has collected and translated ninety
2007 is the "Year of Rumi," and who better than Coleman Barks, Rumi's unlikely, supremely passionate ambassador, to mark the milestone of this great poet's 800th birthday? Barks, who was recently awarded an honorary doctorate in Persian language and literature by the University of Tehran for his thirty years of translating Rumi, has collected and translated ninety new poems, most of them never published before in any form. The result is this beautiful edition titled Rumi: Bridge to the Soul. The "bridge" in the title is a reference to the Khajou Bridge in Isphahan, Iran, which Barks visited with Robert Bly in May of 2006—a trip that in many ways prompted this book. The "soul bridge" also suggests Rumi himself, who crosses cultures and religions and brings us all together to listen to his words, regardless of origin or creed. Open this book and let Rumi's poetry carry you into the interior silence and joy of the spirit, the place that unites conscious knowing with a deeper, more soulful understanding.
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Read an Excerpt
Rumi: Bridge to the Soul
Journeys into the Music and Silence of the Heart
A Bowl Fallen From the Roof
You that give new life to this planet,
you that transcend logic, come. I am only
an arrow. Fill your bow with me and let fly.
Because of this love for you
my bowl has fallen from the roof.
Put down a ladder and collect the pieces, please.
People ask, But which roof is your roof?
I answer, Wherever the soul came from
and wherever it goes at night, my roof
is in that direction.
From wherever spring arrives to heal the ground,
from wherever searching rises in a human being.
The looking itself is a trace
of what we are looking for.
But we have been more like the man
who sits on his donkey
and asks the donkey where to go.
Be quiet now and wait.
It may be that the ocean one,
the one we desire so to move into and become,
desires us out here on land a little longer,
going our sundry roads to the shore.
Journeys into the Music and Silence of the Heart. Copyright © by Coleman Barks. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Coleman Barks is a renowned poet and the bestselling author of The Essential Rumi, Rumi: The Big Red Book, The Soul of Rumi, Rumi: The Book of Love, and The Drowned Book. He was prominently featured in both of Bill Moyers' 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.
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Collectively, the prose in this book is beyond outstanding. Individually, you have a taste of prose that is far beyond the norm of creative composition. A wonderful gift and a do not pass.