Coleman Barks

The Ecstatic Soul-Jelaluddin Rumi: His Life and Poetry with Coleman Barks

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Program Description

How does a body of poetry written in a remote part of the world find it’s way to “best-seller” lists published in leading newspapers in the U.S. over seven hundred years later? What is the compelling quality inherent in great literature that resonates throughout the ages? Coleman Barks, poet and translator of Jelalludin Rumi’s poetry, explores the genius, mystery and rapture of Rumi’s work; why he has become the most-read poet in America, and what his poetry has in common with the immortal writings of Dickinson, Emerson and Thoreau. “His poetry reflects the transcendent longing that we all feel,” says Barks. “Rumi speaks to the times. He sees the divine in grace and kindness, and also in the terrible things, revealing to us the ecstasy that resides at the deepest core of all experience, and the way out of sorrow.” (hosted by Michael Toms)

Bio 

Coleman Barks is a renowned poet and bestselling author. He was prominently featured in both of Bill Moyer’s PBS television series on poetry, The Language of Life and Fooling with Words. He taught English and poetry at the University of Georgia for thirty years, and he now focuses on writing, readings, and performances.

He is the author of many books including:

To learn more about the work of Coleman Barks go to www.colemanbarks.com.

Topics Explored in this Dialogue:

  • How the story of Rumi and his poetry can have a powerful influence on your life
  • The stunning story of sculptor Michael Richards and his 9/11 prophetic work of art
  • How the soul makes art that can tell us of things to come
  • How you can balance the paradox of ecstatic grief
  • How Rumi’s relationship with his teacher, Shams of Tabriz, inspired his poetry

Program Number: 2893              Host: Michael Toms           Interview Date: 10/5/2001

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