Meter 8b of the 22 meters of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi's masterpiece, the Divan-i Kebir, translated into English in its entirety for the first time.
The Divan-i Kebir, or Divan-i Shams is the anthology of Rumi's poems from the time he met Shams (1244) until the day he died (1273). Although Shams disappeared from Rumi's life after only three years, the impact of this Saint and Master transformed Rumi's life into one of self-annihilation, spiritual longing and ecstasy, all clearly reflected in his poetry.
Rumi's poetry is recorded in 13th century Farsi, the language of the times in Anatolia (some Arabic, Turkish and Greek also appears). Rumi did not write down his poetry. Rather, he spontaneously recited poems day and night, and assigned people, called katib-i esrar [secret secretary], surrounded and followed him, recording what he said.
These more than 44,000 verses are beautiful explanations of the secret of life, Love, humanity, God, and more. They also serve as historical sketches of 13th Century life in Konya, Anatolia. And, they take the reader into the spiritual journey Rumi took 800 years ago toward the enlightenment of Love. For more information, visit ReadingRumi.com.
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The Translator, Nevit Ergin, was born in 1928 in Turkey. He began his spiritual life in 1955 with the help of Hasan Shushud (b.1901, d. 1988), embarking on the same path as Rumi, the Path of Annihilation, or the Path of Liberation. His first exposure to Rumi's poetry was through the translations (from the Farsi to Turkish) of the Turkish scholar, Abdulbaki Golpinarli. Although Turkish by birth, Ergin lived in the United States from his mid-twenties until his passing at the age of 87 in 2015. His desire to read Rumi's Divan-i Kebir in English finally led to his undertaking the task of completing the English translation himself. He began (working from Golpinarli's Turkish translations) in 1990 and finished in 2003.
Ergin recognized the challenge of translating from Turkish into English a work that was originally recorded in ancient Farsi. According to the Russian linguist Roman Jakobson, "...Poetry by definition is untranslatable. Only creative transposition is possible." (Jakobson. "On Linguistic Aspects of Translation" (1959), screen 19 of 22.) This is very true for Rumi's poems. For that reason, according to Ergin, "I have tried to be idiomatic and communicative, faithful to meaning rather than translating word-by-word. I humbly ask for tolerance and understanding from readers regarding this gigantic task.".
During his lifetime, Ergin was a physician practicing in Michigan and California, gave lectures on Rumi at Marin Community College in Northern California and throughout India for the U.S. State Department. In addition to his translations, he is the author of The Sufi Path of Annihilation, Tales of a Modern Sufi, Unknown Rumi, and others as well. He passed in July, 2015. For more information, visit ReadingRumi.comReview:
"...indispensible to those who love Mevlana Jelaludin Rumi... It is a monument to the inspiration of Shems i-Tabrizi..." --Dr. Yannis Toussulis, Professor of Consciousness Studies and Intercultural Psychology, April 25, 2004
"...nothing short of a miracle. What you find is a depth, consistency, and integrity of spiritual vision that is unparalleled." --Will Johnson, Author, April 25, 2004
"Nevit has spent almost fifty years translating Rumi's entire Divan...a deeply surrendered heart, [he] has done a tremendous service." --Coleman Barks, Author, April 27, 2004
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