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Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (Compass) Paperback – September 24, 2002
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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.
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.
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
~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,
Now just her luminous soul remains
as we gaze at it
at night.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was initially attracted by the title. Then as I read and read, I was touched by the translator's whimsical, beautiful, passionate view of the love story all over the world... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is in my top three all time favorite books. Buy this to lift your spirits and peek behind the veil...Published 1 month ago by Melanie J.
God reveals God's self to all who seek. Those who not seek are sought by God. "...God is the most passionate lover... "Published 2 months ago by Katie
This is a gem of a book. I read it through and start over again. One page can make my day. Wisdom from across the ages that rings true today.Published 3 months ago by Celia Williamson
We should all be so inspired to transcribe what is being written on our hearts!Published 3 months ago by Timothy J. Hayes