A rich introduction to the work of Rumi by the foremost scholar on the great mystical poet, featuring leading literary translations of his verse by Coleman Barks, Robert Bly, Andrew Harvey, Kabir Helminski, Camille Helminski, Daniel Liebert, and Peter Lamborn Wilson.
Rumi’s poems are beloved for their touching perceptions of humanity and the Divine. To display the major themes of Rumi’s work, each of the eighteen chapters in this anthology are arranged topically, such as “The Inner Work,” “The Ego Animal,” “Passion for God,” “Praise,” and “Purity,” uncovering a deep and timeless understanding of Sufism and mysticism. Also included is a biography of Rumi by Andrew Harvey and an introductory essay by Kabir Helminski on the art of translating Rumi’s work into English.
“The Spiritual Surgeon” Can the water of a polluted stream Wash away the dirt? Can human knowledge sweep away The ignorance of the sensual self? How does a sword fashion its own hilt? Go, entrust your wound to a surgeon, For flies will gather around the wound Until it can’t be seen. These are your selfish thoughts And all you dream of owning. The wound is your own dark hole. Mathnawi I, 3221–3224 (translated by Kabir Helminski and Camille Helminski)
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