The Illuminated Rumi

Hardcover | October 13, 1997

byJalal al-Din RumiTranslated byColeman BarksContribution byMichael Green

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Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey to the ocean of meanings...

In the mid-thirteenth century, in a dusty marketplace in Konya, Turkey, a city where Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist travelers mingled, Jelaluddin Rumi, a popular philosopher and scholar, met Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervish.  Their meeting forever altered the course of Rumi's life and influenced the mystical evolution of the planet.  The bond they formed was everlasting--a powerful transcendent friendship that would flow through Rumi as some of the world's best-loved ecstatic poetry.

Rumi's passionate, playful poems find and celebrate sacred life in everyday existence.  They speak across all traditions, to all peoples, and today his relevance and popularity continue to grow.  In The Illuminated Rumi, Coleman Barks, widely regarded as the world's premier translator of Rumi's writings, presents some of his most brilliant work, including many new translations.  To complement Rumi's universal vision, Michael Green has worked the ancient art of illumination into a new, visually stunning form that joins typography, original art, old masters, photographs, and prints with sacred images from around the world.

The Illuminated Rumi is a truly groundbreaking collaboration that interweaves word and image: a magnificent meeting of ancient tradition and modern interpretation that uniquely captures the spiritual wealth of Rumi's teachings.  Coleman Barks's wise and witty commentary, together with Michael Green's art, makes this a classic guide to the life of the soul for a whole new generation of seekers.

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From Our Editors

The poetry of Rumi is more popular now than ever. Jelaluddin Rumi’s pre-eminent translator, Coleman Barks, in collaboration with renowned illustrator and author Michael Green, draws readers through Rumi’s remarkable poems and unique visual interpretations. Using techniques like digitization, painting, photography and printmaking, Rumi ...

From the Publisher

Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey to the ocean of meanings...In the mid-thirteenth century, in a dusty marketplace in Konya, Turkey, a city where Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist travelers mingled, Jelaluddin Rumi, a popular philosopher and scholar, met Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervish.  Their meeting forever alte...

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Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey to the ocean of meanings... In the mid-thirteenth century, in a dusty marketplace in Konya, Turkey, a city where Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist travelers mingled, Jelaluddin Rumi, a popular philosopher and scholar, met Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervish. Their meeting forever alte...

Coleman Barks has published twelve books of Rumi's poetry, including the bestselling The Essential Rumi.  Barks lives in Athens, Georgia, and is a professor at the University of Georgia.Michael Green is a critically acclaimed artist and illustrator whose books include Zen and the Art of the Macintosh, Unicornis, The Book of the Dragont...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:128 pages, 11.33 × 8.82 × 0.74 inPublished:October 13, 1997Publisher:Potter/TenSpeed/HarmonyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0767900022

ISBN - 13:9780767900027

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The meeting of Jelaluddin Rumi and Shams of Tabriz was a grand event in the mystical evolution of the planet.  With their friendship, categories of teacher and student, lover and beloved, master and disciple, dissolved. Jelaluddin Rumi was born in the remote town of Balkh, in what is now Afghanistan.  He lived most of his life in Konya, Turkey, which in the 13th century was a meeting point for many cultures at the Western edge of the Silk Road, a place where Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and even Buddhist travelers mingled. Rumi, at the age of thirty-seven, had become an accomplished doctor of theology, the center of his own divinity school.  He was a venusian lover of the beautiful and the good, a scholar, and artist. Shams was a wandering dervish monk, rough-hewn and sinewy.  A street bodhisattva who mingled with laborers and camel drivers, he had no school.  People spontaneously gathered around him, though he was given to slipping out side doors and leaving town when it happened.  He did not want followers or fame; he only wanted to find one person vast enough in spirit to be his companion. He met Rumi in Konya. As Rumi was riding a donkey through the marketplace, surrounded by a knot of disciples, a stranger with piercing eyes stepped from a doorway and seized his bridle.  The stranger challenged him: "Who is greater, Muhammad or Bestami?" Bestami was a legendary Sufi master given to ecstatic merging with God, then crying out with mystical candor that he and the Godhead were one!  Muhammad was the founder of their tradition, the anointed one, but his greatness resided in his stature as messenger of God.  So who was greater? Rumi gave the approved answer, "Muhammad." "But Bestami said, 'I am the Glory!'  Muhammad said, 'I cannot praise you enough!" As Rumi was about to reply, he realized that this was no seminary debate about the mysteries.  In a dusty marketplace in south central Anatolia, he had come face to face with the Mystery. Learn about your inner self from those who know such things, but don't repeat verbatim what they say. Zuleikha let everything be the name of Joseph, from celery seed to aloeswood.  She loved him so much she concealed his name in many different phrases, the inner meanings known only to her.  When she said, The wax is softening near the fire, she meant, My love is wanting me. Or if she said, Look, the moon is up, or The willow has new leaves, or The branches are trembling, or The coriander seeds have caught fire, or The roses are opening, or The king is in a good mood today, or Isn't that lucky? Or The furniture needs dusting, or The water-carrier is here, or It's almost daylight, or These vegetables are perfect, or The bread needs more salt, or The clouds seem to be moving against the wind, or My head hurts, or My headache's better, anything she praises, it's Joseph's touch she means, any complaint, it's his being away. When she's hungry, it's for him.  Thirsty, his name is a sherbet. Cold, he's a fur.  This is what the Friend can do when one is in such love.  Sensual people use the holy names  often, but they don't work for them. The miracle Jesus did by being the name of God, Zuleikha felt in the name of Joseph. When one is united to the core of another, to speak of that is to breathe the name hu, empty of self and filled with love.  As the saying goes, The pot drips what is in it. The saffron spice of connecting, laughter. The onion smell of separation, crying. Others have many things and people they love. This is not the way of Friend and friend. I am dust particles in sunlight. I am the round sun. To the bits of dust I say, Stay. To the sun, Keep moving. I am morning mist, and the breathing of evening. I am wind in the top of a grove, and surf on the cliff. Mast, rudder, helmsman, and keel, I am also the coral reef they founder on. I am a tree with a trained parrot in its branches. Silence, thought, and voice. The musical air coming through a flute, a spark off a stone, a flickering in metal. Both candle and moth crazy around it. Rose and the nightingale lost in the fragrance. I am all orders of being, the circling galaxy, the evolutionary intelligence, the lift and the falling away. What is and what isn't.  You who know Jelaluddin, you the one in all, say who I am.

From Our Editors

The poetry of Rumi is more popular now than ever. Jelaluddin Rumi’s pre-eminent translator, Coleman Barks, in collaboration with renowned illustrator and author Michael Green, draws readers through Rumi’s remarkable poems and unique visual interpretations. Using techniques like digitization, painting, photography and printmaking, Rumi formed a union of poetry and art. The Illuminated Rumi makes a beautiful gift and a stunning tribute to Rumi’s teachings.

Editorial Reviews

"Rumi has, to the recent amazement of many people in the Western culture as well as the Islamic culture, been able to speak directly to contemporary readers.  One of the greatest pieces of good luck that has happened recently in American poetry is Coleman Barks's agreement to translate poem after poem of Rumi.  Rumi, like Kabir, is able to contain and continue intricate theological arguments and at the same time speak directly from the heart or to the heart.  Coleman's exquisite sensitivity to the flavor and turns of ordinary American speech has produced marvelous lines, full of flavor and Sufi humor, as well as the intimacy that is carried inside American speech at its best." --Robert Bly