The Art of Loving
Rumi Publications / Rumi Poetry Club, 9780985056803, 136pp.
Publication Date: March 15, 2012
Cambridge University professor Reynold Nicholson once remarked that the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi is the "greatest mystical poet of any age." In Rumi's vision, love is the very matrix of existence; love is what moves life. His poetry expresses the deepest and the most inclusive layers of love, and thus connects us to an immense source of joy, compassion, creativity, and mystery. This book is a new anthology and an original translation of Rumi's poetry. It is divided into three parts. Part I contains two essays, one on Rumi's life ("A Messenger from the Sun") and the other on his poetic vision and thought ("The Path of Love in the Ocean of Life"), which together help the reader better situate his poetry. Part II presents 144+1 quatrains (Rubaiyat) of Rumi categorized into 12 thematic chapters: On the Pain and Joy of Longing; The Search; Who Am I?; The Beloved's Face; Die to Yourself; The Art of Living; Night Secrets; Water of Life; Fire of Love; Unity and Union; Peaceful Mind; and Rumi on His Life, Poetry and Death. These poems have been selected and translated from the authentic Persian editions of Rumi's Divan-e Shams. For readers interested in the cadence and rhythm of the poems in the original language the Persian reading (in English script) is also given under each translated poem. Part III is a selection of 12 wisdom stories from Rumi's own life (taken from a 14th-century biographical work on Rumi). A glossary of symbolic terms in Rumi's poetry, and references to the original sources of the translated poems are also given at the end of the book. This anthology brings fresh insight into the work and mind of a master poet who mapped the path of spiritual quest and union, and painted in words the art of loving.