I have been making my way through this tome for some time and whenever my mood takes me, I’ll open “The Essential Rumi” to a page where my spirit lands, and there I read. A very good friend gave me this book of poem, which I’d wanted for a very long time. This translation of Rumi’s work by Coleman Barks, a foremost scholar and translator of Rumi’s work, is much loved.
In a chapter titled “Art as Flirtation with Surrender”, Coleman Barks interpreted Rumi’s works as follows:
“Art gives a teasing taste of surrender without the full experience. Beautiful poetry can keep one on the verge of the oceanic annihilation in God. Rumi says, we’ve been walking in the surf holding our robes up, when we should be diving naked under, and deeper under.”
So are we finding refuge in our poetry, our art? Are we avoiding being wholly ourselves fully engaging in the place we call our world?
A poem from this chapter –
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