Sufi poet Jalaludin Rumi whose works gained much acclaim in the West now comes in a simplistic translation that claims to maintain its rhythm
Rumi, A New Translation by Farrukh Dhondy is no less than old wine in a new bottle and is quite capable of making the most poetry intolerant amongst us heady.
The works of Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi have found much acclaim and seen many consolidations before. What makes this book unique is the language that reintroduces the poems to an amateur reader in simple and collected words. The selection goes beyond philosophy and covers poetry and other subject matters.
The section to look out for is towards the end. Titled Translating Rumi, it explores the history of the poet, of Islam and of Sufism.
It does not leave behind constant debate of literal and moderate Islam. Besides a personal note from the author, the book culminates in a small interview with Farrukh Dhondy establishing the reason behind a new translation and his own introduction to the works of Rumi.
He doesn't say that Rumi has been his favourite poet but claims to have addressed the need of the lack of rhythm in earlier translations.
Rumi, A New Translation, Published by HarperCollins India, Rs 299, Available at all leading bookstores
Lose All Desire, Pg 44
But for her, your lover wills that you lose all desire
Love, when at its brightest, seeks to quench the fire
Dissolution in that love, they say, resembles death,
Yet it is the paradise where single hearts draw
Names, Pg 91
God taught the earthly Adam
To name all things although
He taught the angels only
What he wanted them to know
Extracted with permission from HarperCollins India