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Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (Compass) Paperback – September 24, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Ladinsky has published three previous translations of Hafiz's poems, The Gift, The Subject Tonight Is Love, and I Heard God Laughing, as well as a collection of translations of poems by twelve mystics and saints, Love Poems From God. His most recent collection is The Purity of Desire: 100 Poems of Rumi. For six years, he made his home in a spiritual community in western India, where he worked and lived with the intimate disciples and family of Avatar Meher Baba. He lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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Product Details

  • Series: Compass
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition (September 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142196126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142196120
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel Ladinsky is the translator of The Gift and Love Poems from God. For six years he lived with the family of Meher Baba in a spiritual community in western India.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've had this book for a couple of years and I used to enjoy it. I would recommend caution to anyone thinking of buying it, though. Daniel Ladinsky has a history of writing his own poetry and selling it as though it were translated material. Many people in the West know the name of the Iranian poet, Hafiz, through Ladinsky. Although Ladinsky has admitted at times that his writings are not translations of Hafiz but are based on his vision of Hafiz, he has continued to market his material as though it were actually authored by that poet. Many people now read Ladinsky and think that they are reading Hafiz. I think Daniel Ladinsky is a dishonest person for doing this.

That said, his work is beautiful. If what I've said doesn't bother you, then don't worry about it. This book is a pleasure to read. If you are interested in Hafiz or any of the other sacred poets whose names are meantioned in this book, then I would be very careful and not trust anything that has Daniel Ladinsky's name on the cover.
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Format: Paperback
I read Mr. Legge's review below before purchasing this, but decided he was probably just a Christian offended at Ladinsky taking liberties with some of the great poets/writers from this tradition. Unfortunately, I wish I would have listened to him.
I have trouble believing that these poems, or even something similar, were written by the sources credited. They all come off sounding a bit like Hafiz, (or at least, as I'm beginning to suspect, Daniel Ladinsky's version of Hafiz), but not nearly as good as the Hafiz translations in Ladinsky's other volumes.
Something about the "translations" just seemed a little smart-alecky to me and not very deep. I don't think for instance, that Kabir really said "a fish in the water that's thirsty needs professional help." Buy at your own risk.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It has been said that just as every river is winding its way to the sea so every soul is returning to a glorious reunion with our source, God. ~Daniel Ladinsky

Daniel Ladinsky presents poems from the past in a new clarity. He not only translated these poems, he lovingly selected poems of great beauty and meaning.

While many of the poems do sing with his voice, a new understanding emerges and the message of an ecstatic union with God is very present. What is even more interesting than the poet's desire to worship God, is God's worship of humans, which can at times seem foreign unless you think of this as an admiration of His creation. Then, like two human lovers, God and mankind enter a space of love, adoration, blissful unconditional love and shared communion.

In this regard, the poems are ecstatically beautiful, although not always about God. There are plenty of love poems that seem to have been written for human lovers:

One regret that I am determined not to have
When I am lying upon my deathbed
is that we did not kiss
enough.
~Hafiz (c. 1320-1329)

Hafiz influenced Emerson, Goethe and Brahms and Daniel Ladinsky explains how he wrote wild love songs to the world from God.

Priests also long for the love of a woman and yet maintain the vows they took and some poets compare their love to the vows the sun and the moon took as they will never touch. One of the most beautiful poems contains references to giving God a "pet" name and that he responded more to prayers when he was loved this way. I loved Rabia of Basra's poem about the moon once being a moth:

The moon was once a moth who ran to God,
they entwined.

Now just her luminous soul remains
as we gaze at it
at night.
Read more ›
3 Comments 50 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I was drawn to this book after having read a review about it in a periodical I trust, that called Daniel Ladinsky, "An audacious talent with a gigantic heart and a keen sense of humor." Indeed Ladinsky's remarkable work in this book, and the majority of pages in it, reflect a great artist's love.
There is a poem in this book by Thomas Aquinas called, "The Christ Said." In this poem only the first few words are those of Aquinas, the rest are all attributed to Jesus, actually they are presented as a verbatim quote?? The astonishing wonder and potential significance of these words (no matter a scholarly origin) should be deeply studied by any religious student for they are sublime, profound theology. And after reading them in amazement - several times - I could not help but to keep flipping back to the opening sentence in a short essay in the front of this book, titled: The Genesis of These Poems. That first sentence presented an intrigue to me, and it seemed a bit of spiritual (metaphysical if you will) genius. That sentence was a quote by the 14th century Persian poet Hafiz, who apparently is Ladinsky's main man in that Ladinsky has translated three other books of Hafiz. That first sentence in the essay goes: "No one could ever paint a too wonderful picture of my heart or God." I can believe that about God. But the fascination becomes: is this book an aspect of that PICTURE that has somehow reached us? The most discerning regions of me say this: few books I have held may benefit our world as much.
And enchantment - yes. Often in these pages I felt I was seated before a living Teacher.
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