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The Illuminated Rumi Hardcover – October 13, 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Rumi has, to the recent amazement of many people in the Western culture as well as the Islamic culture, been able to speak directly to contemporary readers.  One of the greatest pieces of good luck that has happened recently in American poetry is Coleman Barks's agreement to translate poem after poem of Rumi.  Rumi, like Kabir, is able to contain and continue intricate theological arguments and at the same time speak directly from the heart or to the heart.  Coleman's exquisite sensitivity to the flavor and turns of ordinary American speech has produced marvelous lines, full of flavor and Sufi humor, as well as the intimacy that is carried inside American speech at its best."
--Robert Bly

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Persian
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1st edition (October 13, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767900022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767900027
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.7 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rumi, Coleman Barks, and Michael Green have collaborated on the most beautiful book I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot). Rumi's poetry trancends the artificial boundaries of religion, and speaks to anyone sincerely on the spiritual path. He captures the burning, the longing for the end of separation from God.
When I first became aware of Rumi's poetry, I was sure that it was about earthly love between humans here on earth. As I absorbed it more completely, I came to realize that all of his poetry, even his love poetry (which is very suitable for passing on to a loved one) is communicating with God.
Coleman Barks has done an amazing job of giving Rumi's work an accessable voice. He has truly given a gift for which we owe a huge debt of gratitude. Rumi provides the music, Coleman's translations provide the instruments.
Michael Green was obviously inspired by his collaborators to reach his own level of genius in the illustrations. I love the way he combines images from different cultures, different times, and from different disciplines both scientific and artistic! A desert oasis with a photo shot by the Hubble Space Telescope for the sky... The juxtaposition of fractal geometry with images from cultural art... I would gladly hang any of the original art from this book on the walls of my living room.
This book has been and continues to be my favorite gift to people who "get it," and I've probably handed out over 20 copies in the last two years. Do yourself a favor and buy it. I bet you'll be back for more copies.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a truly beautiful book - the artwork laid out with the poems is masterful. Its far more than just a book of terrific poetry - which it is by the way! I don't know how these poems read in their original language and forgive me but in this case that doesn't even matter - the writings represented here are beautifully written. I'm so glad I bought it. Its a real joy to read and contemplate.
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Format: Hardcover
In the 13th Century, a Moslem scholar, philosopher and poet, from what is now modern Turkey wrote of the human condition The condition hasn't changed and the words still have the same impact as when written. Hence, he remains popular as ever. Perhaps one might think the terms philosopher and poet off putting. This is not the case. He writes in a style to encourage intuitive thinking rather than our usual logical Western style. This is the mode necessary to understand man's deeper nature. It is a style shared by those wishing spiritual and psychological enlightenment. Reading Rumi makes one a more thoughtful deeper person. Curl up with this book by yourself where you are free from distraction and have the time to let your mind wander. You will get nowhere reading this while commuting or watching TV!

This is book is the place to start with Rumi. The illustrations not

only compliment the writing but are picked to give you a psychological study of what is being said. The current translation is the best I have seen for the modern American World. Coleman Bark's translation of an ancient language into our vernacular makes you feel like Rumi wrote the original English version.

Richard Hunter, MD, Behavioral Neurologist, Atlanta.
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By A Customer on February 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Coleman Barks has a way with words, which for the past few decades he's put to use casting the poems of 13th-century mystic Jalaluddin Rumi into contemporary language. Though considered one of the greatest poets the world has ever seen, Rumi was relatively unknown in the West until a recent surge in popularity due in no small part to Barks's efforts. THE ILLUMINATED RUMI presents readers with a pretty package indeed: deep thoughts, stirred emotions and illustrations galore. Yet while this would do most poets proud, it's doubtful Rumi would feel that way about his treatment at Barks's hands, if only because Barks speaks not a word of Persian, the language in which Rumi wrote. Barks freely admits he relied entirely on academic translations to concoct his popularized renderings. This would be less of a handicap were Rumi merely trying to entertain or to convey feelings, moods and subjective impressions. But as Barks himself points out, Rumi was a Sufi; and Sufis maintain that, far from being the emotional outpourings appearance might suggest, their poems are actually precise and carefully constructed technical instruments designed to have very specific effects on the reader under the right circumstances. These effects, which depend heavily upon the language in which the poems were written (not to mention the specific audience they were written for, which is another matter entirely), are easily blunted by translation and other forms of tampering. Barks - in translating translations - would seem to be carrying this tampering a step further, despite his good intentions.Read more ›
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By A Customer on March 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This translation is better then other translations of Rumi that I have read. I have read this book several times and each time I discover something that I haven't seen befor. I would recomend this book highly.
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