Found in Translation: How a Thirteenth Century Islamic Poet Conquered America By Ryan Croken


A very thoughtful assessment of Coleman Barks translations of the poetry of Rumi put in the context of the climate in the USA of propaganda and militarism against Muslim countries. (Which will hopefully change with Obama). Click the link below to read the full article.
clipped from www.religiondispatches.org

The best-selling poet in America today could never have known that someday there would be such a thing as America. Born over eight centuries ago in what is now Afghanistan, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, a Sufi mystic, has traversed some rather astonishing cultural and temporal boundaries to become one of the most improbable leaders in American letters. A study of Rumi’s success, however, would not be complete without exploring the relationship between the poet and his most popular translator, Coleman Barks.

Poetically, this is significant. But politically, it is momentous. Although something may have been lost in his “translations,” something more priceless has been found: in this American Rumi we have acquired a dazzlingly cogent ambassador of a slandered religion and a most unlikely cultural bridge that could not have come at a better time.
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