Think of Persian poetry and one immediately thinks of Jalal al-Din Rumi. His profound, centuries-old poems have made him one of the best-selling poets in America. While Rumi’s work in undeniably beautiful – as is Hafiz’s, the other well-known Sufi poet – there are a host of others whose work deserves to be explored.
In Love’s Alchemy: Poems from the Sufi, David and Sabrineh Fideler have compiled a wide selection of 150 ruba’iyats – four-line poems or “mystical epigrams” that resemble Japanese haiku – by nearly eighty Sufi poets. While the poems focus on many elements of life both spiritual and mundane, as the title of the collection states, they’re really about the power and mystery of love.
The elegant simplicity of the poems makes them a perfect accompaniment to a meditation practice, as well as a wonderful gift idea. In addition to the poems, the authors have also included an appendix on the various forms of Persian poetry, as well as a glossary of commonly used terms that show up in the poems.