Main CategoriesIslam and SufismMazdaism and Sacred Sufi Poetry Essential Rumi, The

Essential Rumi, The

Product no.: 0-06-250959-4
In this watershed work, Coleman Barks presents the best of his translations collected from over a decade of focusing on the poet's work.

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Publisher's Synopsis

He puts this diverse material under 27 headings and offers brief meditations on such recurring motifs as the tavern, emptiness and silence, feeling separation, being a lover, union and much more. Take in the words of Jelaluddin Rumi and feel yourself transported to the magical, mystical, place of a whirling, ecstatic poet.


"In this delightful treasury, Barks sparklingly demonstrates once again why his free-form interpretations of Rumi's poetry have been a major impetus for the current Rumi vogue."      ~Publishers Weekly

"At the end of our wanderings there is only the soul's yearning to return to God. No one speaks that yearning better than Rumi. No one, these days, does Rumi better than Coleman Barks."      ~Ram Dass

"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep."          

~Spring Giddiness


Jalal al-Din Rumi was born on September 30, 1207 in Balkh (Afghanistan). His father Baha' Walad was descended from the first caliph Abu Bakr and was influenced by the ideas of Ahmad Ghazali, brother of the famous philosopher. Baha' Walad's sermons were published and still exist as Divine Sciences (Ma'arif). He fled the Mongols with his son in 1219, and it was reported that at Nishapur young Rumi met 'Attar, who gave him a copy of his Book of Mysteries (Asrar-nama).

After a pilgrimage to Mecca and other travels, the family went to Rum (Anatolia). Baha' Walad was given an important teaching position in the capital at Konya (Iconium) in 1228 by Seljuk king 'Ala' al-Din Kayqubad (r. 1219-1236) and his vizier Mu'in al-Din. Rumi married and had a son, who later wrote his biography. In 1231 Rumi succeeded his late father as a religious teacher. His father's friend Burhan al-Din arrived and for nine years taught Rumi Sufism. Rumi probably met the philosopher ibn al-Arabi at Damascus.

Author Rumi, Jelaluddin
Translator Barks, Coleman
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 310 pp.
Publisher HarperCollins 1996
Gold Medal

Gold Medal


  Gold Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Mazdaism and Sacred Sufi Poetry, Sufism and Dervishes, Inspirational Poetry, Prose and Sacred Art, Gold Medal Essential Reading

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