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The Glance: Songs of Soul-Meeting Hardcover – October 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670887552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670887552
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When the great Persian poet Rumi met Shams, his spiritual teacher, the soul-shattering and soul-making encounter and the friendship and ultimate loss that followed became the stuff of poetic legend. In this collection of work culled from the much longer book colloquially referred to as "The Shams," popular Rumi translator Barks focuses on ravishing poems of love and loss that can be read as sexual, relational, spiritual, or all three, for in the context of Rumi's embracing philosophy, soul and body and emotion are not separate but parts of the great mystery of earthly life, a question whose answer is love. Here are some of the most beautiful love lyrics ever spoken (Rumi composed orally rather than in writing), direct and passionate and profound: "out of eternity / I turned my face to you, and into / eternity / we have been in / love that long." Barks' translations are justly famous for their bell-like clarity and sharp simplicity. A highly desirable book, in all senses of desire. Patricia Monaghan

From Kirkus Reviews

The Glance ($18.00; Oct.; 112 pp.; 0-670-88755-2): A new translation of a cycle of ancient poems written by the great 13th- century Sufi scholar. Rumi is most widely known in the West for his love poetry, which has enjoyed a tremendous popular revival in the last few years. Here, he works within the framework of the ghazal, a Persian poem closest in form to the English sonnet, and attempts to convey some sense of the wonder he felt at his friendship with Shams of Tabriz, an itinerant dervish he met in 1244. Almost at first sight, an intense bond sprang up between the two, each acknowledging the other as soulmate and guide, in the tradition of Dante and Beatrice. Their relations centered in the spiritual life, with Tabriz introducing Rumi to ecstatic dancing and meditations of the dervishes, though Rumi described the friendship in almost erotic termsI see my beauty in you. I become / a mirror that cannot close its eyes / to your longing...that convey the intensity of his feeling. Barkss translation is fluid and clear, further strengthening his reputation as one of the foremost Rumi experts writing in English today. (Viking also plans to offer a CD version in October that will feature 12 of Rumis poems enhanced with music.) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on January 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Coleman Barks has done a supurb job of selecting and translating Rumi's poetry. The words will move you to tears, the imagry inspire you, the lyric sound of the prose bring joy to your heart. It is a simply magnificient collection and translation. The volume is slender, containing only a handful of poems, but the impact of them is weighty. If you own only one book of poetry - or even only one book by Rumi, this is the collection I recommend.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on March 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
A glance ... a gaze ... full recognition ... connection ... that is how I felt reading some of these poems. Anyone who has experienced strong emotions which transpose events into a new way of "seeing" ... turning an ordinairy experience into a spiritual, other-worldly, almost "divine" encounter will understand the impact of Rumi's poems. The trigger could be a heart-felt conversation, an over-powering view of nature, or a deeply buried emotion which surfaces, or meeting someone special. Rumi describes many life experiences. Each poem is like a crystal which reveals a flash of infinity that is captured in words. The world would be a better place if more people could relate to the brilliance revealed by Rumi's poems.

Coleman Barks provides unparalleled free verse translations which breathe new life into these ancient verses. His highly appealing style makes the poems palatable to modern readers. Maybe, just maybe, Rumi loved life more and dared to live it more fully ... than many people livng today. Perhaps, more "love for life" can be awakened in the readers of these poems. We can only hope ... Erika Borsos (erikab93)
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Tighe on February 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I may not know a cake from a cow-pie, but if Coleman is cooking I'll take two helpings please! And serve it up on audio...straight from the lover's lips is best...images clear as mountain air, accent thick as pine tar, and voice sweet as peach nectar. YUM...YUM That's the way I like it. During my first listen, I felt the music on this audio to be a little too over-powering for some of the readings, but it has grown on me. Now I love even the quirkiest of the pieces. He may not be the chef for you, but he is the word gourmet for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Wallace on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am spellboubnd by this delicious and intense taste of love. So, glancing down or up, I am for lover's sake mirrored and revealed with such words, with such indelible mysteries as to be placed in this heavenly embrace and in the depths of a lover's cavern all at once.
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Format: Paperback
The very title of this Coleman Barks translation of some of Rumi's most soulful love poems is what initially drew me in - because I felt as if I knew this "Glance" he spoke of with a deep soul-friend of mine. May everyone know just a taste of what Rumi felt with his beloved, Shams. Perhaps this book may spark exactly that intent for many readers.

I have been a long-time fan of Rumi's poetry, this title helped me become a bonafide Coleman Barks fan as well.

In the introduction, Barks does a tremendous job in his summation of Soul-Friendship, both universally and what was known between Rumi and his
soul-friend Shams. Hear what he says about the concept of Rumi's "love lyric" from page xv:

"expands the concept of love lyric into a region where many languages blend: the jewel imagery of mysticism, clouds of bewilderment, the charge of erotic language, and the feel of drunkenness. It's a new and old mixture of human desirings, longings and other intensities. these poems come from a place where those experiences are both felt and transformed. the realm of the glance is beyond touch and somehow within touch, too. THe friendship of Rumi and Shams goes beyond wantings, past ideas of gender, beyond old love categories, beyond the synapse of the garden balcony scene and beyond mind.
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