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Rumi: The Big Red Book

The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship: Odes and Quatrains from "The Shams"
By: ,
Contributor Role: 
Translated with commentary by
Contributor name: 
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
HarperCollins
 | 
November, 2011
ISBN:
9780061905834
Quantity: 
2
$21.99 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

There is a sun warmth inside,

nurturing the fruit of your being.

Shams is the name of that.

Readers continue to be awed and ignited by Rumi’s lyrical, deeply expressive poetry, in volumes such as The Soul of Rumi and The Essential Rumi.

Rumi: The Big Red Book now collects all the work Rumi translator Coleman Barks has done on Rumi's Divani Shamsi Tabriz (The Works of Shams Tabriz) over the last 34 years. This anthology is widely considered to be one of Persian literature’s greatest treasures.

As I put this book together, I felt drawn to revise slightly almost every poem, to relineate and reword. So I hope this is a refreshed collection…

The Islam that Rumi speaks from within is not one that separates us into different religions. Amazingly, it is one that celebrates how we can meet in Friendship and sing One Song… Rumi very consciously made himself and his poetry a bridge between cultures and between religions

I am often asked why Rumi is currently so popular. I give my lame reasons. The real cause is Shams Tabriz, the one so startlingly alive and awake, his face is “what all religions long for.” That is the feel of the depth of their friendship. These poems flow from their seamless friendship. And I would make the mystical claim that that is a way of being, of loving, that we can experience eight centuries later, a little taste of, by reading.

Rumi was born in 1207 to a line of Islamic theologians on the eastern edge of the Persian Empire in what is now Afghanistan. To escape the invading Mongol armies of Genghis Khan, his family moved west to a town now found in Turkey, where he eventually became the leader of a school of whirling dervishes. It was a fateful day in 1244 when he met Shams Tabriz, a wild mystic with rare gifts and insight. The renowned scholar Rumi had found a soul mate and friend who would become his spiritual mentor and muse. “What I had thought of before as God,” Rumi said, “I met today in a human being.”

Out of their friendship, Rumi wrote thousands of lyric poems and short quatrains in honour of his friend Shams Tabriz. They are poems of divine epiphany, spiritual awakening, friendship, and love. For centuries, Rumi’s collection of these verses has traditionally been bound in a red cover, hence the title.

All religions, all this singing, one song…  

We have borrowed these clothes,
these time-and-space personalities,
from a light, and when we praise,
we are pouring them back in.

“Rumi says, ‘Some nights stay up until dawn, as the moon sometimes does for the sun.’ Coleman has stayed up all night, and every reader is grateful.” —Robert Bly

Publisher’s Description: 

Considered one of the masterpieces of world literature, The Big Red Book is perhaps the greatest work of Rumi, the medieval Sufi mystic who also happens to be the bestselling poet in America.

Rumi was born in 1207 to a long line of Islamic theologians and lawyers on the eastern edge of the Persian Empire in what is now Afghanistan. In order to escape the invading Mongol armies of Genghis Khan, his family moved west to a town now found in Turkey, where he eventually became the leader of a school of whirling dervishes. It was a fateful day in 1244 when he met Shams Tabriz, a wild mystic with rare gifts and insight. The renowned scholar Rumi had found a soul mate and friend who would become his spiritual mentor and literary muse. "What I had thought of before as God," Rumi said, "I met today in a human being."

Out of their friendship, Rumi wrote thousands of lyric poems and short quatrains in honor of his friend Shams Tabriz. They are poems of divine epiphany, spiritual awakening, friendship, and love. For centuries, Rumi's collection of these verses has traditionally been bound in a red cover, hence the title of this inspired classic of spiritual literature.

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