Wingbeats: The Poetry of Rumi

by Coleman Barks

The rubat, the four-line poem, is indigenous to the Persian language, and Rumi is one of the great innovators with the form. There’s a legend about how the quatrain originated. It’s fair day. A poet and his friends are strolling along in the crowd. They stop to watch some children playing a game. A young boy throws a walnut so that it starts along a groove of the pavement, jumps out, then rolls back in to hit the aimed-at spot. He has put english on the nut, and he celebrates the . . .


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