- Paperback: 71 pages
- Publisher: Beacon Press (February 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807063797
- ISBN-13: 978-0807063798
- Package Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 0.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Kabir Book: Forty-Four of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir Paperback – February 1, 1993
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The Darkness Of Night Is Coming Along Fast, And
Don't Go Outside Your House To See Flowers
The Flute Of Interior Time Is Played Whether We Hear It Or Not
Friend, Please Tell Me What I Can Do About This World
Friend, Wake Up! Why Do You Go On Sleeping
The Guest Is Inside
Have You Heard The Music That No Fingers Enter Into
The Holy One Disguised As An Old Person In A Cheap Hotel
The Hopeful Spiritual Athlete
How Hard It Is To Meet The Guest
How Much Is Not True
I Don't Know What Sort Of A God We Have Been Talking About
I Have Been Thinking Of The Difference Between Water
I Know The Sound Of The Ecstatic Flute
I Married My Lord, And Meant To Live With Him
I Played For Ten Years With The Girls My Own Age
I Said To The Wanting-creature Inside Me
I Talk To My Innder Lover, And I Say, Why Such Rush?
Inside This Clay Jug There Are Canyons And Pine
It Is Time To Put Up A Love-swing
Knowing Nothing Shuts The Iron Gates; The New
Let's Leave For The Country Where The Guest Lives!
Listen Friend, This Body Is His Dulcimer
My Body And My Mind Are In Depression Because
My Inside, Listen To Me, The Greatest Spirit
Oh Friend, I Love You, Think This Over
The Small Ruby Everyone Wants Has Fallen Out On The Road
Student, Do The Simple Purification
Swan, I'd Like You To Tell Me Your Whole Story
There Is A Flag No One Sees Blowing In The %sky-temple
There Is A Moon In My Body, But I Can't See It!
To Be A Slave Of Intensity
What Comes Out Of The Harp? Music!
What Has Death And A Thick Body Dances Before
When My Friend Is Away From Me, I Am Depressed
Why Should We Two Ever Want To Part
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®
About the Author
Robert Bly has earned many honors for his original poems, which include The Winged Energy of Delight, and for his translations of twenty-two poets, including Kabir. He is the author of the bestseller Iron John, and with Jane Hirshfield has published a new translation of Mirabai (Beacon / 6386-6 / $16.00).
Top customer reviews
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Finding Kabir was great. This ancient sage skewers all kinds of religious dogmas and funky practices. It is comforting to know that he pursued his path and still snickered at stern, narcissistic people who shaved their heads and wore uncomfortable burlap. Kabir's sarcasm and satire is especially timely in light of recent corrupted interpretations of yoga, Buddhism, Sufism and other spiritual/religious approaches.
In essense, Kabir offers something of a "Newage Treatment Plant." If you like metaphysics without a bunch of gunk polluting it, then Kabir is for you.
I have one concern. Robert Bly states that he has changed the wording and content of poems to make them understandable to a contemporary audience. I've heard that much is lost and possibly even corrupted with such a translation. I'm not sure where Kabir ends and Bly begins.
Kabir's work was orally passed on - he was illiterate and never wrote down his poems - they were sung. There are musicians all over India and Pakistan who still sing the work of Kabir centuries later.
I wish that Bly like others had travelled with some of these humble, often illiterate singers who still carry the depth of the essence of Kabir's words. I wish that he had been touched by that incredible zest of life that still lives in those voices. His books would have been very different I think.
I have always hated it when classic Urdu and Sanskrit literature have been translated into English for the Western reader, and I have particularly despised the end-result when the translator himself is Western. This sort of poetry just does not read as poetically or deeply in English. In Sanskrit and Urdu, the words leap off a page with double or triple meanings and possibilities - indeed, the work of Kabir in his original language are jumping with various intentions and nuances that bear repeated reading. However, in English, they lack the depth and appear dull and lifeless.
Despite this obvious shortcoming, Kabir's poems translated in English do have some effect - though as one reviewer put it, the effect is at times comical - though not the fault of the poet, let me insist. The horrendous translation work done by Robert Bly should be read to be believed. Readers who have been amazed by Kabir's poems in their original language will be amazed here for totally different reasons.
Even more laughable are Bly's [...] attempts at cooking up a biography. Its obvious that this author has done minimal research. And considering that the word 'probably' features more than a dozen times in the introduction, you wonder if the author believes if Kabir really existed or not. Bly's explanations are even more bizarre - ranging from the this-may-have-happened to the oh-by-the-way-this-may-have-happened-instead variety are numbingly irritating, and by the end of it, you may well want to throw this away and get the definitive Kabir book translated by Rabindranath Tagore instead.
If you're a real Sufi lover or Kabir fan, you'd think twice before investing in [a book] such as this. Everything about this book made me mad. I have also read the other Kabir book called 'Cabir', which made me realize that when you're not really sure about anything about the person about whom you're writing, its better not to write about him at all. All these biographies are insipid and tired efforts. I'd advise the translators to desist from doing anymore translation work of the great Indian poets. Its cruel and despicable.
Not at all recommended. There are much better Kabir translations on the Web, so check those out instead.
Most recent customer reviews
He is the breath inside the breath.
This includes some stories about Kabir.
Read any one of them. But don't read this contamination, this desecration of Kabir's beautiful poems.Read more