Coleman Barks is known as one of our foremost interpreters of the poetry of Rumi, the 13th century Persian mystic. Barks is sometimes described as a translator but he actually is more of an interpreter, he takes existing translations that have been made over the centuries and rewrites them in the spirit of what he feels in each poem. Barks doesn't actually speak the original language in which the poetry was written.
In this interview he describes the mystical revelations that inspired him to embark on this project. After we aired this interview I was approached by a number of listeners who expressed a sense of wonder which had been engendered by listening to this conversation. This is the sort of interview that I can only dream about having. There's a certain dream-like sense to the subject matter and our exchange that day that simply cannot be replicated.
The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library, Clark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, Wright Memorial Public Library, and Microsun Lamps.