Book Review: The Essential Rumi-by Coleman Barks

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

A Persian ‘Sufi Mystic’ born as early as the year 1207, claiming to have a philosopher’s mind and a heart of pure gold. A spiritual poet who preached his teachings in the most effortless manner. Satires, metaphors and figure of speech became evident in his style of writing and preaching. ‘The Essential Rumi’ contains more than 80 poems which were never published before. Makes it a must read.

This place is a dream.
Only a sleeper considers it real.

It is a condensed book of Rumi’s selected poems, translated by Coleman Barks.

When you read Rumi, a sudden mystical fog wraps you and teleports you to the places unknown; places where you long to go. This book gives you the most basic ideas of life with subtle hints and hard hitting thoughts. You might disagree with Rumi on certain points, but never you’ll discard his teachings all together; his expression is so beautiful and enchanting that it is impossible not to admire. Indeed, it is “The Essential Rumi”.

Birds make great sky-circles
of their freedom.
How do they learn it?

They fall, and falling,
they’re given wings.”

The Essential Rumi never fails to preach a relevant learning, exactly when you need it the most. Somehow, the poems written by Rumi seem so contemporary to everyday problems that you suddenly find yourself getting enveloped with respect and high regard. This books will make you return to it, again and again; and every single time will spellbound you with sheer imagery, simplicity and deepness.

“You have read in the text where They love him
blends with He loves them.
Those joining loves
are both qualities of God. Fear is not.”

No description, review or recommendation can ever stand at par to the magical poetry inscribed in this book.

“Brother, stand the pain.
Escape the poison of your impulses.
The sky will bow to your beauty, if you do.
Learn to light the candle. Rise with the sun.
Turn away from the cave of your sleeping.
That way a thorn expands to a rose.”

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