Quotes about Rumi & His Translators

Across time, place, and culture, Rumi’s poems articulate what it feels like to be alive, and they help us understand our own search for love and the ecstatic in the coil of daily life. ~Lee Briccetti, 2014

Rumi will transform you, in ways you didn’t know you needed transforming. ~Jerry Stahl, 2001

Rumi is astounding, fertile, abundant, almost more an excitable library of poetry than a person. ~Robert Bly, 2004

Rumi is trying to get us to feel the vastness of our true identity… like the sense you might get walking into a cathedral. ~Coleman Barks, 1995

Ramana Maharshi and Rumi would agree: the joy of being human is in uncovering the core we already are, the treasure buried in the ruin. ~Coleman Barks, 2001

The combination of mystical richness and bold adaptations of poetic forms is the key to Rumi’s popularity. ~Jawid Mojaddedi, 2014

Rumi’s words are an expression of praise and grief and gratitude and play. ~Coleman Barks, 2009

What I deeply want… is for Rumi to become vitally present for readers, part of what John Keats called our soul-making, that process that is both collective and uniquely individual, that happens outside time and space and inside, that is the ocean we all inhabit and each singular droplet-self. ~Coleman Barks, 2001

If Rumi is the most-read poet in America today, Coleman Barks is in good part responsible. His ear for the truly divine madness in Rumi’s poetry is really remarkable. ~Huston Smith, 1996

It’s a mystery how heart can come into apparently simple English. ~Robert Bly, 2004

The Sufi mystic and poet Jalaluddin Rumi is most beloved for his poems expressing the ecstasies and mysteries of love in all its forms — erotic, platonic, divine… Rendered with freshness, intensity, and beauty as Coleman Barks alone can do, these startling and rich poems range from wholeness to grief and all the states in between: from the madness of sudden love to immersion in divine love. Barks has made this medieval, Persian-born poetic and spiritual genius the most popular poet in America today. ~Rumi: The Book of Love, 2003 [a little altered –tg]

Good poetry, like music or a sweet touch, can doctor us up, be an antidote for an hour or longer, help us to get dressed for another day — combat the blues enough to mount the horse again; and maybe even aid one in laying down the insidious weight of some old grudge or deep-rooted anxiety. Herein enters Rumi…. draws us near to his — and our own — inner light…. From head to toe this guy is blazing. He is like a cyclone one wants to be drawn into… ~Daniel Ladinsky, 2012