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Rumi: The Book of Love

Poems of Ecstasy and Longing
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Translated with commentary by
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Paperback Book
January, 2005
$19.99 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

The Sufi mystic and poet Jalaluddin Rumi masterfully express the ecstasies and mysteries of love in all its flavours—erotic, platonic, divine—and Coleman Barks presents his selected “cream” of them in this delightful collection (a handsome paperback with deckle edges and French flaps), replete with his lovely notes, a brief account of Rumi’s life, and his introduction, “The Magnificent Regions of the Heart,” where he writes:

I love to watch the changing moods and nuances of falling in and out of love, and so does Rumi. He’s not some mystic snob. He sees the beauty and importance of anything human beings do… He always uses human incident as a lens to look into soul growth…

Rumi was an enlightened lover, a true human being, realized, whatever you want to call those who get to be deeply themselves… My advice with this book, then, is to try, as he says, to listen for the presences inside the poems. Connect there with an open heart, and follow the oceanfrog if he starts for home…

Poetry and music are two great mysteries of human consciousness. Rumi lets them pour through as a beauty we are, and a kind of a home too.

These often startling and multi-resonant poems range from the “wholeness” one experiences with a true lover, to the grief of a lover’s loss, and all the states in between: from the madness of sudden love to the shifting of a romance to deep friendship to the immersion in divine love. This is far beyond (richer, tougher, more nourishing, more tender) than simple feel-good love poetry.

There is no down or up in love, but if one had to say whether Rumi’s poetry goes more with the pure transcenders or more with the grief-gardeners, one would say he’s a ground-hugger and not so much a high-flyer… But as Rumi himself says hundreds of times, there is little one can say about love. It has to be lived, and it’s always in motion.

Rumi: The Book of Love includes some poems previously published in Open Secret, Unseen Rain, This Longing, and Feeling the Shoulder of the Lion.

Love comes sailing through and I scream.

Love sits beside me like a private supply of itself.

Love puts away the instruments

and takes off the silk robes. Our nakedness

together changes me completely.

Also by Coleman Barks are The Essential Rumi and The Soul of Rumi.

Publisher’s Description: 

Now in paperback, this is the definitive collection of America's bestselling poet Rumi's finest poems of love and lovers. In Coleman Barks' delightful and wise renderings, these poems will open your heart and soul to the lover inside and out.

'There are lovers content with longing.

I'm not one of them.'

Rumi is best known for his poems expressing the ecstasies and mysteries of love of all kinds – erotic, divine, friendship –and Coleman Barks collects here the best of those poems, ranging from the 'wholeness' one experiences with a true lover, to the grief of a lover's loss, and all the states in between: from the madness of sudden love to the shifting of a romance to deep friendship – these poems cover all 'the magnificent regions of the heart'.

Coleman Barks has made 14th-century Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi the most popular poet in America today. Rendered with freshness, intensity, and beauty as Barks alone can do, this delightful collection presents the best of Rumi’s poetry about love in all its forms - erotic, platonic, and divine. Readers will find that in the magnificent regions of the heart, the distance between Rumi’s time, place and culture and our own is not so far after all.

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