The Essential Rumi by Rumi

The Essential Rumi

This revised and expanded edition of The Essential Rumi includes a new introduction by Coleman Barks and more than 80 never-before-published poems.Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of thirteenth-century Sufi Mystic Rumi more popular than ever.The Essential Rumi continues to be the bestselling of al...

Details The Essential Rumi

TitleThe Essential Rumi
Release DateMay 28th, 2004
GenrePoetry, Spirituality, Classics, Philosophy, Religion

Reviews The Essential Rumi

  • Erin Muir
    I keep a copy of the Essential Rumi (trans. Coleman Barks) with me, everywhere I go. My copy, given to me in 2001, has travelled the world with me. I read a poem a day, although sometimes it's a poem every other day. I discovered Rumi through a great book given to me by my mother: The Language of Life, a Companion Book to the Bill Moyers' PBS special about poets alive today... Coleman Barks, a premiere Rumi translator, was among the poets intervi...
  • JV (semi-hiatus)
    Make way, make way!Just a modern version of Rodin's The Stinker, err, The Thinker, coming through!:Currently, I am ruminantly ruminating Rumi's ruminative ruminations in the loo. And I guess I'll have to stay in here for a number of days... ruminating, that is... because I wanted to!Besides, I dropped by to sh*t and stink, sit and think, mind you! And deary, please, could you give me more loo papers? **********Late, by myself, in the boat of myse...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    The Essential Rumi, Rumi, Coleman Barks (Translator), Reynold Nicholson (Translator), A.J. Arberry (Translator), John Moyne (Translator)This revised and expanded edition of The Essential Rumi includes a new introduction by Coleman Barks and more than 80 never-before-published poems. Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic...
  • Mads
    Miraculous. I learn something new every time I open this book. The image that sticks to mind if how we should try to emulate a reed flute and let God's breath flow through us. I've stopped being religious when I stopped going to church when I was 16 but reading Rumi's writings is probably the closest I am to religion right now.
  • claire
    This is always by my bed--when I haven't returned it to the library again--because it gracefully and fiercely reminds me of what it means to be alive, to long for truth and love, to open my heart again and again even when the wind is blowing wickedly all around me.
  • Mridu aka Storypals
    I don't even, I can't even dare review this. It is beyond me.
  • Yelda Basar Moers
    A phenomenal read! This book of poetry by the gifted Coleman Barks has become one of my bibles of spirituality-- it is what I would call a one in a million read! I've added it to Thoreau's Walden and the holy books. The artistry and tapestry of language is unparalleled. The words of Rumi come alive under the care of Barks. It is impossible not to be moved by Rumi's words in this compilation. If the universe could speak, this is what it would say....
  • Rikke
    “This place is a dream.Only a sleeper considers it real.” This is a hard book for me to rate. It almost seems impossible, unbearable to only reward it with three stars. Parts of it gently touched my soul, and reading those few lines of pure beauty, almost felt revolutionary. Rumi is mostly known for his love poems, and I can clearly see why. There's a certain hint of unision and belonging in his great visions of love and he strings his words ...
  • B. P. Rinehart
    "I am filled with you.Skin, blood, bone, brain, and soul.There's no room for lack of trust, or trust.Nothing in this existence but that existence." I have deliberately taken over 6 years to read this book. I wanted to savor it like fine wine. This book is an anthology of the theologian, jurist and mystic known as "The Roman" despite being born in Afghanistan and writing mostly in Persian (though he did live in the former Eastern Roman Empire for ...
  • Kurt
    This is a book I return to again and again. I play a game with this book...I will concentrate on a problem or a situation, then open the book randomly to a page and start reading; something in the poem that I selected will have some relevance to the thought at hand. Of course, it has to do with my interpretation of the situation, but it always lends itself to deeper thought, or it will allow me to be able to gain some fresh insight into the probl...
  • Astha Vyas
    When you read Rumi, a sudden mystical fog wraps you and teleports you to 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; as his expression is so beautiful that it is impossible not to admire. Indeed, it is "The Essential Rumi".
  • Jamie clare
    HM.. Who Says Words with my Mouth? All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there. This drunkenness began in some other tavern. When I get back around to that place, I'll be completely sober. Meanwhile, I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary. The day is coming when I fly of...
  • Colin Kinlund
    I wanted to quote some verses from this book, but each line was made more beautiful by the one before it, and the one before that, until I’d have to include the whole book. And yet somehow the reverse effect is also true, in which the entirety of the mystic and divine collected in these pages is reflected in every word. Rumi writes: “The study of this book will be painful to those who feel separate from God.” But to read any one of these po...
  • Trish
  • Iwona
    "The Guest House" This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing...
  • Sarah
    The has to be my second favorite book of poetry. Rumi was less of a poet I believe, and more a vessel of grace; the messages, parables, imagery, and lyrical quality of his work makes me think much of the Psalms. Coleman Barks' translations are exquisite. I've read many different translations of Rumi, and none are as strong, brilliant, and seem to breathe with love as his. It seems that Barks was specifically chosen to be spoken through by this 12...
  • Monty Python
    I was more than a little irritated at this book: I don't want Coleman Barks' interpretations of Rumi, I want Rumi's words. Barks doesn't understand Persian and didn't translate any of Rumi's work, but he takes existing translations of Rumi and reworks them. What Barks is doing is akin to a DJ mixing someone else's remix into their own DJ set, and then trying to pass that off as the original material. If you're going to practice that form of colla...
  • Rad
    Rumi needs no introduction, no rating, no recommendation, no stars. He is above and beyond all of this – he is a constellation unto himself. He is THAT magnificent a magician. And his readers in English, me included, can’t just thank Coleman Barks enough for translating the beauty and spirit of his poetry brilliantly. I have read other translations of Rumi but those are mere translations – but Coleman Barks’ is Rumi. Quintessentially. And...
  • MissUnderstoodGenius
    Rumi's writings are like a finger that again and again catches our attention by touching the deepest places in our hearts and pointing us in the direction of life.This is a beautifully put together book of interpretations of translations of some of Rumi's work and offers a good introduction to Rumi's life. Rumi's words appear contemporary, and contain many wonderful thoughts, as well as his share of strange ones. Enlightenment is expressed in the...
  • Lon
    This collection is my first introduction to Rumi's poetry, having been spellbound by an hour-long feature of the 13th century Sufi mystic's life on Krista Tippet's radio show, On Being. This body of poems is translated by the much-acclaimed Coleman Banks and I couldn't ask for more vigorous, modern lines.On nearly every page a fresh, sometimes startling image seizes the imagination, blowing off the dust of the mind. Here's a typical example: A re...
  • Alina Cătărău
    "The Essential Rumi" is Coleman Barks’ selective translation from Rumi’s works, because “Rumi’s creativity was a continuous fountaining from beyond forms and the mind” (Loc. 444) and the twenty-eight divisions of the book are fluid and playful, as Barks himself writes; however, each section contains a Sufi symbol or poetic motif (the wine, desire-body, the sheikh, the turn etc.) and a few explanations before the series of poems begins. ...
  • Maureen
    Coleman Barks went to Philadelphia to visit The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, a Sri Lankan Muslim sheik. The Bawa told him that his life's work would be translating the poems of Jelalludin Rumi. Barks took The Bawa's advice to heart, and started down the path that would find Barks becoming the truest, most inspired translator of Rumi's work. I have read many different translators' work, and none of them, not even Stephen MItchell, can begin to compare with ...
  • Feral
    Again, a translator brought the text alive for me. Barks is, himself, a poet and his translations are more like interpretations. I think it is the only way to go with translating poetry. The translator must essentially make a new poem in the new language for it to work. I became a Rumi-aholic, but rarely stray from Barks translations.
  • Farnoosh Brock
    I love Rumi. I am Persian and so was he, although the comparison stops there. Rumi was brilliant.In September of 2012, I created a photographic gallery of Rumi quotations and used a few of the quotes from Coleman Bark's book with direct permission from the author - I thought it was so cool that he emailed me back and was gracious about it. This book has been sitting on my nightstand for months. I pick it up in between other books, read a page or ...
  • Rauan
    one of my Goodfriends "Friends" has rated this book 2 stars and explains this by saying he thinks the translator has taken huge liberties with the original, Rumi, that is. So, my rating's based on the book as it is and the belief that it's real (like you believe a movie's real....)The danger of reading this sort of poetry (Whitman is another glaring example) is that you can so easily get caught up in the ecstasy of it. You can get drunk on it. An...
  • Sheida
    I only have myself to blame for this one. I don't know what possessed me, self-proclaimed poetry hater, to read 416 pages of Persian poetry translated into English. (confession: I do know what possessed me though for the sake of my reputation lets not mention that I read this after Harry Styles was seen reading it). Overall, I understood a lot more than I do when I read the originals, I enjoyed a few parts of it and I highlighted quite a bit but ...
  • Sarah Canavan
    Essential is a good word for the title of this anthology. This collection of Rumi's work is so complete. I usually skip around in poetry anthologies, but here the verses are organized into playful groupings that refer to one another subtlety but completely. I didn't expect to find myself reacting and relating to a Muslim poet from the 13th century the way that I did, but he transcends any barrier that would inhibit the relevance of his words. Try...
  • Terri
    I read Rumi's poetry constantly. It is comforting, brings peace to my soul and has constant great, practical advice for life's ups and downs. It's hard to believe these works were written centuries upon centuries ago.
  • Dan
    "I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way.Whoever brought me here will have to take me home."Coleman Barks was introduced to the poetry of Rumi by Robert Bly....with Bly saying "these poems need to be released from their cages." Since that time Barks has worked with literal translations of Rumi, transforming them into modern poetry. Rumi was a 13th century Persian mystic, as essential to the Muslim world as Shakespeare to t...
  • Irving Karchmar
    Rumi is arguably the greatest poet of all time, even in translation; his Mathnawi, is considered the Persian Koran. Along with Homer and Dante, perhaps he encompasses the spiritual storytelling power of love, faith, joy and knowledge. Highly recommended for all.