5. Rumi’s Little Book of Love, translated by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin

After a busy few weeks I finally got around to finishing “Rumi’s Little Book of Love” that was wonderfully translated by Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin. This is a collection containing 150 shorter poems by the 13th century Persian mystic Rumi. For those that are not familiar with Rumi and his work here is a little extra information. Rumi is a poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic. His importance is considered to surpass national and ethnic borders.  When it comes to his poems, they have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. In 2007, he was described as the most popular poet in America. Because of this his works are widely available in most bookstores.

I have had this particular book for some time now and would read a poem or two every few days but never all in one sitting like I just did. I have to say that I recommend reading a few poems a day for many reasons. One of them being that despite the fact that these are very short poems they hold a depth of meaning that takes some time to contemplate. When you are reading a 150 of them in one sitting you don’t spend enough time on each of them like one should. They are beautiful pieces of art work. In addition, the translators should be praised as well because I understand just how difficult it is sometimes to translate something from one language into another without losing some beauty or the meaning in the process. The book also includes a nice introduction which gives the reader some background information about Rumi if they are not familiar. In addition, there is a list of terms and symbols in the back that was very useful.

Without a doubt I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys poetry. And for those of you who don’t, Rumi might surprise you. Despite being a 13th century poet his work is extremely relevant today and easy to read. Once you have mastered his shorter poems you might want to check out other books with Rumi’s work. One of the good ones is “The Essential Rumi” by Coleman Barks and John Moyne.  In the meantime, here is one of my favorite poems from this collection. Let me know in the comments what you think of it.

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