In the next parts of this blog entries, there will be my other love of beautiful poem and poetry by Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks. My first Rumi book which I read cover to cover and again, and again is titled Bridge to the Soul. I have been observing Rumi’s books for a while, scanning through briefly, knowingly aware that once I get started, I cannot stop but to continue to read and love the beautiful work which quite perpetual and eternal in meaning – mostly about love, life, the Great Divine.
No matter where I read this book, as if it transported me to a different phenomenon and ambience.. so peaceful, beautiful, I can almost hear a serene musical background to each poem. Too much? No, I think it is just my own personal experience and feel.
In addition to bridging cultures and religions, serves as a bridge to carry the reader into the interior silence and joy of the soul. His poems bridge the gap between conscious knowing and soul-deep understanding, bringing the reader into wholeness through the job of his words; they are a bridge between the mystery of being human and the mystery of the divine – the Soul Bridge. The above was a review done by Baker and Taylor in Kinokuniya BookWeb.
As it read in the inner cover: ‘ 2007 is the ‘Year of Rumi,’ named UNESCO and who better than Coleman Barks, Rumi’s unlikely, supremely passionate ambassor, to mark the milestone of this great poet’s 800th birthday? A review of this book was made by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussa, in Spirituality and Practice website. Coleman Barks has translated this splendiferous new volume of Rumi poems to celebrate the great mystic’s of Rumi’s birthday. Here you will find 90 poems, 83 of which have not been previously published. In the introduction, Barks talks traveling to Iran with fellow poet Robert Bly where Barks received an honorary doctorate in Persian language and literature from the University of Tehran. Pondering the Khajou Bridge in Isfahan, he comes to a deeper appreciation of Rumi as a bridge-builder between people, especially due to his love of all religions.
Barks sees in these poems an appreciation for music and the silence of the heart [also implies as the tag line of title of this book]. Many of them bring us to a place where we can enter a fresh immersion in silence and its ample bounties. Another theme throughout the collection is love. In ‘New Blossoms,’ the poet notes:
‘Your loving alertness is a lantern.
Keep it protected from wind
That makes it crazy.’
In ‘We cannot decide, ‘ Rumi salutes the only beauty that takes his breath away and leaves him speechless:
‘There has never been beauty like yours.
Your face, your eyes, your presence.
We cannot decide which we love most,
your gracefulness or your generosity.’
God’s graces are numberless, and his traces are in all that he has generously bequeathed to us. Both gifts elicit surrender and adoration. These poems are cause enough to celebrate Rumi’s 800th birthday!