I recommend reading this book, RUMI WITH A VIEW TO OTHER PERSIAN MYSTIC POETS, to all fans of Rumi's poetry. My primary reason for translating selected Rumi poems from Farsi to English was to make his mystical poetry more accessible to 21st century fans of Rumi by using contemporary English words, symbols, and imagery, while trying to keep their mystical meaning intact. I have tried to make the experience of reading Rumi’s poetry in English as close as possible to the experience of one who reads Rumi in its original language
The majority of the translations of Rumi’s poetry are not from the original Farsi text, and with few exceptions, are done without the prerequisite knowledge of Persian language, culture, and history. The formative beauty and musicality of Rumi's poems, as well as the depth of meaning and the mystical concepts therein, are lost in translation.
The best English translation of Divan Shams Tabrizi are by Reynold A. Nicholson (1886-1945) and Arthur John Arberry (1905 – 1969) who were prominent scholars of Islamic literature and mysticism. In my view, Nicholson’s translations are too literal and hard to understand. Arberry’s translations are less literal, but the formative beauty and musicality of Rumi’s poetry is still lost in translation.
The most popular American versions of Rumi’s mystical poetry are published by Coleman Barks who admittedly has no knowledge of Persian language, and his so called “translations” are in fact his own poetry, loosely based on Rumi’s poems.. Bark’s “translations” are basically paraphrases of English translations of Rumi’s poetry by Nicholson, Arberry and others.
I have tried to find the closest contemporary English words for the Farsi or Arabic ones used by Rumi, while trying not to lose their mystical concepts in translation.
I have also included English translations of poems by two other Iranian classical poets, Hafez and Saadi, as well as translations of contemporary poems by Fereydoon Moshiri , Sohrab Sepehri, Nima Yooshij, and Javad Azar.
I was asked about the original photographs used in the book. The majority of the original photographs in this book are from spiritual places in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Kamakura, Japan. Mystical concepts in Rumi’s poetry, composed in Farsi with thirteenth century syntax, imagery, and symbols, are universal mystical concepts. Photographs in this book also depict universal mystical concepts, but with local imagery and symbols and through different media.
1 post • Page 1 of 1