Translated by Haleh Liza Gafori (New York Review Books, paperback)
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
Publisher Marketing: A selection of original translations of the great Persian poet by an up-and-coming American translator and musician.
The thirteenth-century Persian sage Rumi was chiefly known as a preacher and a man of serious and sober views. But at the age of forty, his encounter with the poet Shams of Tabriz left him utterly transformed. Rumi became a poet himself, a poet in single-minded pursuit of ecstatic illumination and liberation whose work is meant to induce a similar revelation in his audience, bringing its members to a condition of serenity, compassion, and oneness with the divine. His poetry is a masterpiece of world literature to which readers in many languages continue to return for inspiration and succor as well as aesthetic delight. This new translation preserves the radical intelligence and the ecstatic drama of poems that are as full of individual character as they are of visionary wisdom.
Marilyn Hacker, one of America's finest contemporary poets, praises Haleh Liza Gafori's new translations of Rumi as "the work of someone who is at once an acute and enamored reader of the original Farsi text, a dedicated miner of context and backstory, and, best of all, a marvelous poet in English."