by: Coleman Barks
An intrinsic aspect of Rumi’s life and spiritual poetry is his divine friendship with the great Mystic; Shams of Tabriz. Shams and Rumi were kindred spirits, sharing a common mystical bond that transcended ordinary human relationships. As Rumi said of Shams in Ode 3097:
“I won’t try to talk about Shams.
Language cannot touch that Presence.”
After Shams passing, Rumi began his most creative period of writing poetry and often Rumi would refer to Shams as a way of offering gratitude to the inspiration he received from his friend and teacher . These Odes by Coleman Barks focus on poems in which Rumi mentions or alludes to his spiritual mentor, Shams of Tabriz.
Extracts from introduction to
“Like This” by Coleman Barks -
“These poems are spontaneous unfoldings into a current, and like the best love poems of any tradition they melt into their being drawn, even as they keep a fierce reserve.”
“An intensity seals the lips. When water begins to boil, the cook puts a lid on the pot. Rumi’s Silence is that of the chef, who hands you a spoon to let you taste, now that the recipe-reading is over. The Silence becomes an inward communion, an experience beyond any doctrinal description.”
The poems in this section are taken from:
Versions by: Coleman Barks
Republished with permission of the author.
photo / card: Tejvan