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The Essential Rumi by Jalal al-Din Rumi

The Essential Rumi (1995)

by Jalal al-Din Rumi

Other authors: A. J. Arberry (Translator), Coleman Barks (Translator), John Moyne (Translator), Reynold Nicholson (Translator)

Series: The Essential Religious Series

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This really is one of my favorite books of all time. I have opened it up again and again and again. It was especially important to me my senior year in college. I will always love Rumi, and Coleman Barks. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
Beautiful, amazing, mystical poems. ( )
  Steve.Bivans | Jul 20, 2014 |
This is a wonderful collection of Rumi's writing, along with some small bits of insights from Barks regarding history and Rumi's life. There are some spectacular pieces within this collection, which make me want to memorize much of Rumi's poetry.

I thoroughly enjoyed the organization of these pieces, according to theme rather than chronology. This allowed the reader to focus on the meaning of the words and the teachings of Rumi. ( )
  HippieLunatic | Feb 24, 2013 |
A collection of Rumi's work from many sources, and not just restricted to the Masnavi.
  sumitkumarbardhan | Jun 26, 2011 |

This is a selection of poetry translated from the original Persian of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī, known as Mowlānā in Persian and Rūmī in the English-speaking world, whose followers founded the Mawlawī Sufi order, better known as the Whirling Dervishes, after his death. The poetry is expressive and profound, but also fairly easy to digest. Rūmī's basic philosophy is that one can find a path to the ineffable through meditation on love - his best one-liner is that "Love is the astrolabe that sights into the mysteries of God". Unlike the Christian monastic tradition, he stresses the importance of human contact (though I noted that while he writes a lot about both friendship and romantic love, he has less to say about parenthood). He includes a number of Sufist parables, in a style which I was familiar with from my encounter with the Bektashi in the Balkans (founded at about the same time and in roughly the same place, and also Sufist in orientation), though Rūmī is both more profound and more basic (the parable of the maidservant, the donkey, and the importance of taking essential preliminary measures will linger in my mind for a while).

I was slightly concerned while reading it that the translator, Coleman Barks, might have taken considerable liberties with the original text. I have no way of knowing, but I am reassured by the appendix which includes reference to each of the original poems, and also, unusually for a poetry book, several curry recipes.

Anyway, a fascinating insight into a different tradition of spirituality. ( )
1 vote nwhyte | Mar 20, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jalal al-Din Rumiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arberry, A. J.Translatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barks, ColemanTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moyne, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nicholson, ReynoldTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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for compassionate heart within the mind, the light within the body,
for the sun, Shams of Tabriz, and Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
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In the tavern are many wines—the wine of delight in color and form and taste, the wine of the intellect's agility, the fine port of stories, and the cabernet of soul singing.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062509594, Paperback)

The best-selling Rumi book ever is now better than ever! This revised and expanded edition of the comprehensive one-volume edition of America′s most popular poet includes a new introduction by Coleman Barks, and 57 new poems never published before.

The ecstatic, spiritual poetry of Rumi is more popular than ever, and The Essential Rumi continues to be far and away the top-selling title of all Rumi books. With the addition of many new poems and a new introduction, The Essential Rumi is now clearly the definitive, and most delightful selection of Rumi′s poetry.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:02 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A collection of poetry by the thirteenth century Sufi saint cover topics ranging from emptiness and silence to elegance and majesty.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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