Synopses & Reviews
"Inside a lover's heart there's another world, and yet another."
Rumi's delightful yet profound poems 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 these pages you will encounter the essence of Sufism's insights into the experience of love in all its varieties, life's mystery and wonder, and the nature of both humanity and God.
While Barks's stamp on this collection is clear, it is Rumi's unique vision and voice that leap off the page 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 come 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 Soul of Rumi
is renowned poet Coleman Barks' first major assemblage of newly translated Rumi poems since his bestselling The Essential Rumi
Coleman Barks presents entirely new translations of Rumi's poems, published for the first time in The Soul of Rumi. The poems range over the breadth of Rumi's themes: silence, emptiness, play, God, peace, grief, sexuality, music, to name just a few. But the focus is on the ecstatic experience of human and divine love and their inseparability, conveyed with Rumi's signature passion, daring, and insights into the human heart and the heart's longings.
About 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.