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.
When Rumi was born in Afghanistan in 1207, it was a time of tremendous political turmoil in the Near East. Paradoxically, it was also a time of "brilliant mystical awareness," writes translator Coleman Barks in The Soul of Rumi
. This brilliance shines through in every passage, as Barks celebrates the ecstatic nature of Rumi's poetry. Barks (The Essential Rumi
) has been given much credit for leading modern Westerners to this astounding poet. His sensitivity to the reader is evidenced in how he organizes the poetry according to themes. Since Rumi is often quoted at public gatherings, such as weddings and memorial services, this makes referencing especially easy. In the section entitled "When Friend Meets Friend," readers find the poem "The Soul's Friend":
The most living moment comes when those who love each other meet each other's eyes and in what flows between them then. To see your face in a crowd of others, or alone on a frightening street, I weep for that….
Barks offers a gracefully rendered introduction to each section, providing personal and historical background of the poetry. Elegantly designed and printed on cream-colored, heavy-stock paper, this is a delight for Rumi fans. --Gail Hudson