Coleman Barks

Coleman Barks

Coleman Barks (born 1937) is an American poet. Although he neither speaks nor reads Persian, he is nonetheless renowned as an interpreter of Rumi and other mystic poets of Persia.

Contents

Biographical notes

Barks is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended the University of North Carolina and the University of California, Berkeley. Barks taught literature at the University of Georgia for three decades. He currently lives in Athens, Georgia, where he interprets the writings of Rumi and composes poetry of his own.

Barks makes frequent international appearances and is well-known throughout the Middle East. Barks' work has contributed to an extremely strong following of Rumi in the English-speaking world.[1] Due to his work, the ideas of Sufism have crossed many cultural boundaries over the past few decades. Coleman Barks received an honorary doctorate from Tehran University in 2006.[2]

He has also read his original poetry at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.

In March 2009 Barks was inducted to the Georgia Writers' Hall of Fame.[3]

In early 2011, Barks suffered a stroke that has somewhat impaired his speech and has resulted in at least one cancelled appearance. [4]

Rumi translations

Barks has published several volumes of Rumi's poetry since 1976, including The Hand of Poetry, Five Mystic Poets of Persia in 1993, The Essential Rumi in 1995 and The Book of Love in 2003.

Barks does not speak Persian, but bases his translations entirely on other English translations of Rumi. This includes translations by John Moyne. In addition, while the original Persian poetry of Rumi is heavily rhymed and metered, Barks has used primarily free verse. In some instances, he will also mix lines and metaphors from different poems into one 'translation'.

Original poetry

Barks has published several volumes of his own poetry, including Gourd Seed, Tentmaking, and, in 2001, Granddaughter Poems, a collection of Coleman's poetry about his granddaughter, Briny Barks, with illustrations by Briny. Harper published his first book of poetry, The Juice, in 1972. "Quickly Aging Here" is another of his poetry books.

Discography

1. What Was Told
2. The Death of Saladin
3. The Indian Tree Bone Song
4. Sitting Together
5. The Source of Joy and Roses Underfoot
6. Amazed Mouth
7. The Music We Are
8. Green Meadows
9. Like Light Over The Plain
10. Some Kiss
11. The Road Home
12. A Cap
13. Walnuts
14. There You Are
15. On The Day I Die
16. School Mosque Minaret
17. Looking Into The Creek
18. This is Enough
19. Three Travellers
20. The Soul's Friend
21. Mounted Man
22. Shadow and Light Source Both
23. Now Lay Me Down
24. One Swaying Being

1. I Have Five Things to Say
2. Bowl
3. Buoyancy
4. Listening
5. I Met One Traveling
6. Soul, Heart, And Body One Morning
7. Most Alive Moment
8. Sufi Masters
9. Milk of Millennia
10. Wax
11. Wean Yourself
12. Quietness
13. This World Which Is Made of Our Love for Emptiness
14. God in the Stew
15. Locked out of Life
16. Tender Agony
17. No Room for Form

Quotes

Iran is my first home-land. (2006)[5]

The only credential I have for working on Rumi's poetry is my meeting with [my Sufi teacher], Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. That relationship is the only access I have to what is going on in Rumi's poetry.[6]

See also

References

External links


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