Synopses & Reviews
Inside A Lover's Heart There's Another World, And Yet Another
Rumi's masterpieces have inspired countless people throughout the centuries, and Coleman Barks's exquisite renderings of the thirteenth-century Persian mystic are widely considered the definitive versions for our time. Barks's translations capture the inward exploration and intensity that characterize Rumi's poetry, making this unique voice of mysticism and desire contemporary while remaining true to the original poems. In this volume readers will encounter the essence of Sufism's insights into the experience of divine love, wisdom, and the nature of both humanity and God.
While Barks's stamp on this collection is clear, it is Rumi's voice that leaps off these pages with a rapturous power that leaves readers breathless. These poems express our deepest yearning for the transcendent connection with the source of the divine: there are passionate outbursts about the torment of longing for the beloved and the sweet delight that comes from union; stories of sexual adventures and of loss; poems of love and fury, sadness and joy; and quiet truths about the beauty and variety of human emotion. For Rumi, soul and body and emotion are not separate but are rather part of the great mystery of mortal life, a riddle whose solution is love. Above all else, Rumi's poetry exposes us to the delight that comes from being fully alive, urging us always to put aside our fears and take the risk of discovering our core self:No one knows what makes the soul wake up so happy! Maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil from the face of God.
These fresh, original translations magnificently convey Rumi's insights into the human heart and its longings with his signature passion and daring, focusing on the ecstatic experience of the inseparability of human and divine love. The match between Rumi's sublime poetry and Coleman Barks's poetic art are unequaled, and here this artistic union is raised to new heights.
"The gold of Rumi pours down through Colemans words. The words leap off the page and dance!" Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
"The Islamic mystical poet Rumi (1207-1273) improvised the evocative poems which his followers wrote down. Translator Coleman Barks's The Essential Rumi won the Persian writer American fans, some of whom revere the poet as a religious guide. Now Barks is back with The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems. The giant volume includes part of Rumi's 64,000-line Masnavi, as well as many short poems and Barks's copious, informal, personal commentary." Publishers Weekly
"If Rumi is the most-read poet in America today, Coleman Barks is in good part responsible. His ear for the truly divine madness in Rumi's poetry is truly remarkable." Huston Smith, author of Why Religion Matters and The World's Religions
"These new poems continue to stun, awaken, and remind us of who we are at the deepest and most profound root of the self all gratitude to Coleman Barks for these translations that are so fully alive and luminous." Jane Hirshfield, author of Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women
"Rumi reaches across the centuries to awaken our deepest longing. Coleman Barks's notes and translations till the soil of our inner life, ensuring that the seeds of longing take root and flourish." Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Invitation and The Dance
"Reading The Soul of Rumi by Coleman Barks is an ecstatic experience that will shift your awareness and give you true exaltation of your own spirit." Deepak Chopra, author of How to Know God and The Soul in Love
An entirely new translation of Rumi's poems - published for the first time.
About the Author
Coleman Barks is a renowned poet who taught English and creative writing at the University of Georgia for many years. His appearances on Bill Moyers's two PBS poetry series brought him wide acclaim. He now focuses on writing and on performing Rumi poetry in readings and concerts.