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Friday, August 17, 2012

Morning Coffee with "The Essential Rumi".

Early morning is a great time for reading poetry.  This morning I sat outside with a cup of coffee and read The Essential Rumi, translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne.  Rumi lived from 1207 to 1273.  Born in Afghanistan, his family later fled to Turkey to escape the invading Mongol armies.

I heard about Rumi some years ago when NPR ran a story about Barks' book.  Here is a link to that story.  When you get to NPR's page, click the word 'download' found to the right of the gray, rectangular box.  The story is fascinating and I highly recommend you give it a listen.

Rumi's poems are amazing.  As Coleman Barks writes, "Rumi's poems are not well-trimmed, Persian miniature gardens.  They are more like, as scholar Annemarie Schimmel says, the paintings in the Turkoman style - full of abrupt movement, odd flowers and bushes, demons and talking animals."   If you enjoy being dazzled, astounded, consoled and inspired by language and ideas, check it out.


  1. I listened to the NPR story and in spite of the fact that the correspondent referred to the "year twelve thousand (something)" I ordered the book. You are my main influence in books. I have "The Cat's Table" on my car CD player now.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Anonymous!