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Forty-four of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir “Kabir’s poems give off a marvelous radiant intensity Bly’s versions have exactly the luminous depth that permits. In the tradition of ecstatic poetry, Kabir writes of bodily delights and of choices made by the heart, not the mind. Columbia University professor of religion John. Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , John E. Cort and others published Kabir: Ecstatic Poems – By Robert Bly.

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He encouraged open and free debate and intercourse at the royal court between all the religions, even including atheists, first shifting his personal belief from orthodox Islam to the mystic Muslim interpretations of the Sufis, then reacting against the too prominent bigotry within his own Muslim faith to found a short-lived unsuccessful rationalist-syncretistic religion to unite all religions within India, termed Din-i-Ilahi, or Universal Peace. Not all that long ago, in another review, I wrote that I preferred the Rabindranath Tagore translation to this one.

He abolished the Muslim tax on other religious communities and encouraged intermarriage between Muslim and Hindu princes and princesses and royal courts. I think I’ll read it again. Besides, two Not all that long ago, in another review, I wrote that I preferred the Rabindranath Tagore translation to this one. How does the poetry sound? He demands that readers live for themselves. I’ve no doubt he’s an amazing poet though, and I really did enjoy a lot of his poetry.

They stimulated a wide range of cultural interactions and transformations that were to enrich the Indian world in remarkable ways, from miniature painting, to calligraphy and the growth of the Urdu language and script to the splendor of the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of world architecture. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.


It’d be interesting to read a translation of this that’s more idiomatic and draws on a fuller range of language. The Mughal Empire ruled over million people at a time when Britain had fewer than 10 million, France less than 20 and even the comparable Ottoman Empire less than 30 million. Quotes from The Kabir Book: How hard it is to feel that joy in all our four bodies!

The Kabir Book: Forty-Four of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir

Here there is nothing but the struggle to live; there, nothing but the tumult of the Judgment Day. Bly lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And, you know, reading Rumi is beat. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Sometimes I find a book I know I’ll read about 30 times, and this is one of those booksit has given me so much joy, I am angry at it.

No, the inescapable responsibility of the translator of poetry is to use his materials to create real poetry in his own language.

With fierce independence of mind and an acid tongue, little around him escaped his wit and caustic laceration, including poens Mughal Emperor himself. Kabir insists on a present, erotic divinity. Kabif 20, Dunnu rated it it was amazing.

His philosophy incorporated the beliefs and practices of both Muslims and Hindus. That’s in contrast to the last “translation” of Rumi I read, which was practically a hoax on a gullible public hungry for spirituality. It’s not that it’s too “plain” but that there’s no music to it–it’s rhythmically flat.

Mir Muhammad Taqi Mir along with Ghalib were two of the grandmasters of the genre, living in the days of the final decline and dismemberment of the Mughal Empire and the rise of the British Raj. Inside this clay jug there are canyons and pine mountains, and the maker of canyons and pine mountains!

The Kabir Book: Forty-Four of the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir by Kabir

But, knowing nothing of the language, who am I to say? I’ve always had a soft spot for Robert Bly, and I kind of liked his Kabir. Urdu is piems distinguished by the heavy influence of court Persian and of Arabic from the mosque. Not only did Kabir influence these religious traditions, he was one of the major inspirations behind Sikhism as well. My friend, don’t bother with that excursion.


This book shames me and my own approach to writingeverything I try to say in words this book does in Here—and elsewhere, too, in his translations from the Spanish—Bly does this as well as any translator ever has.

No one knows the secret. Return to Book Page. Ghalib was one of the greatest poets in two languages, Urdu and Persian, and was, like Byron, an aristocratic rebel, religious sceptic and outsider who was difficult for either his friends or enemies to understand or deal with. As our contemporary world struggles with political turmoil caused by religious beliefs, the poems of Kabir seem as relevant today as when they were first written.

Interrogated by the British during the Mutiny, he was asked by the British commander: Robert Bly offers his “versions” of poems by Kabir, a 14th-century Sufi mystic and poet of Benares, India. I can even compose four whole poems sitting in the bathroom! In addition to being a conqueror he was also a keen writer, and his autobiography, the “Baburnama” or “Memoirs of Babur” has kabie compared to the “Meditations” of Marcus Aurelius and the “Confessions” of Augustine and Rousseau, for its uncommon candor in the presentation of self.