Although alone, the lover is never lonely,
Forever hidden with the Beloved.
Love is the meaning of our existence, the raw material of transformation, the glorious way of access to Divine intimacy. This teaching infuses the lyric verse of Rumi (1207–1273), the greatest of the Sufi poets. The poems in this collection, taken from among the master's many volumes of work, focus on one of his greatest themes: how love grows and matures for those on the spiritual path. Kabir Helminski and Ahmad Rezwani have crafted a translation that remains faithful to the original Persian while giving eloquent expression to the joy of Rumi's astonishing encounter with the Divine. As our love moves on to ever more refined and exalted objects, Rumi declares, the distinction between lover and Beloved becomes irrelevant—and wonderfully so:
There is no Love greater than Love with no object,
For then you, yourself, have become Love itself.
"Love's Ripening speaks to the soul the way mystical poetry was meant to—as a messenger between the realms of heaven and earth. Rumi's passion for the Divine lives on in the pages of this exquisite book that will no doubt engage each reader in the blissful experience of mystical reflection with the Sacred."—Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Entering the Castle
"Indeed love ripens the soul, and the ripening of the soul leads to the realization of love. This central message of Rumi, that comparable troubadour of love, is reflected with great care, devotion, authenticity, and yes, love in this book. There are now many translations of Rumi's poems in English, of various qualities. And yet, deposit all works in print on this subject, and it is certain that this book will stand out among them, marked as it is with existential participation in the spiritual universe of the supreme master of Persian Sufi poetry."—Seyyed Hossein Nasr, University Professor of Islamic Studies, George Washington University, author of Man and Nature and The Garden of Truth